Mononymous writer-director Makinov’s 2012 thriller “Come Out and Play” only works if you could never in your wildest dreams consider killing a kid if your life was in serious danger. Call me cold and callous, but I’d chuck a child into the nearest river if the nasty little brat was attempting to murder me. Although I’m sure the act would likely cause serious emotional damage, but when it comes to survival, even a five-year-old boy isn’t above getting crushed when push comes to shove. If you found any part of this opening passage to be offensive, then chances are “Come Out and Play” is going to give you nightmares for decades.
Makinov’s movie is a retelling of director Narciso Ibanez Serrador’s 1976 shocker “Who Can Kill a Child?” Unfortunately, the filmmaker doesn’t do anything remarkably different with the material. It’s just the same old thing with brand new faces. Fans of Serrador’s flick won’t find anything new to ponder with this retooled outing. Unless you just can’t stomach watching movies crafted during the 70s, there’s really no reason to waste your time with “Come Out and Play.”
The story follows a husband and his pregnant wife as they venture to an out-of-the-way vacation spot on an sparsely-populated island. It’s apparent from the get-go that something’s not quite right about the location. All of the adults seem to have vanished into thin air. Although the couple soon discover a few children on the island, it’s clear that the little rascals don’t want anything to do with the tourists who have stopped by for a holiday. Other than murder them, of course.
Their problems begin to escalate considerably when they attempt to leave the island. It’s apparent that the children aren’t too keen on letting them go, and thus begins a long string of sequences featuring Vinessa Shaw’s ceaseless whining. In fact, the movie could easily go by the title “The Whining” since the actress spends most of the time bellyaching about their predicament. Her terror is understandable, but it certainly makes for labored viewing by the hour mark. We get it, Shaw. Your pregnant character is having trouble dealing with these pint-sized threats. Please stop whining about it. Please. For the love of God.
The film’s mysterious director, who reportedly wears a bag on his head to hide his identity, isn’t very good at building suspense. While it’s clear from the get-go that something is not quite right about the children, it takes nearly half the movie before you understand just how threatening these kids can be. Makinov tries to generate tension by having the husband and his pregnant wife travel from one abandoned building to another. Then they complain about stuff. By the time the movie ends, you’ll be hoping that everyone in that God-forsaken town will bite the dust.
My biggest complaint about “Come Out and Play” is that it’s an insufferable bore. I can handle bad movies, but I absolutely hate being bored. That’s a huge deal breaker for me. Although some of the moments towards the end of the flick are a little intense, you’ll have to make it through the rest of the movie to experience them. If I had qualms about kicking a violent child into the ocean, then perhaps the flick would have had more of an impact on me. As it stands, this “Who Can Kill a Child?” remake isn’t worth the effort to seek it out. Makinov has promise as a director, but this isn’t the one that’s going to get him noticed.
Makinov (director) / Makinov (screenplay)
CAST: Ebon Moss-Bachrach … Francis
Vinessa Shaw … Beth