On the surface, Jacob Chase’s new horror flick, Come Play, seems to be just another cookie-cutter bogeyman film. However, after peeling back the many layers, you will be met by a surprisingly emotional element.
The slow build-up of the movie gives itself time to build up the characters and story. While at times Come Play does seem to drag its heels needlessly; it will keep you captivated with sporadic moments of tension and more than its fair share of jump scares.
Come Play with Larry
Come Play follows a young boy named Oliver. Played brilliantly by Azhy Robertson (Marriage Story; Juliet, Naked), Oliver is a shy child bearing the weight of Autism. Seeing this as a weakness, his classmates soon begin to bully him; only spurred on by his inability to talk and his reserved, distant manner. However, this soon comes to an end as the boys share a chilling secret. Quite touchingly, we are instead treated to watching a growing friendship and an acceptance that lifts the spirits; sprinkling a little joy on to this otherwise sombre production.
Oliver is soon shown to be harbouring a dark secret as you are introduced to Larry. A being that exists only inside of a computer screen, a being that wants to be his “friend”. Reading his creepy story, which is in the style of a creepy kid’s storybook, Oliver summons Larry into his world.
A dark tale of loneliness unfolds as our fiendish friend comes to take what he wants; a new friend – Oliver. What follows is a snowballing battle to keep Oliver in the worldly realm and Big Laz out.
A Refreshingly Creepy Monster
Standing at around 9-foot-tall, Larry carries with him a certain scare factor unlike we have seen previously. You can’t help but feel a growing unease as he lurks in the darkness and stalks his potential “friend” and his family. The supernatural, disjointed way the towering terror moves, only goes to amplify the gnarling trepidation that carries you through the movie.
Furthermore, Larry can only be seen through computer screens. While we have seen this before, many times; it still succeeds from time-to-time and in Come Play we see it used to beautifully unnerving effect.
My Final Thoughts on Come Play
In Come Play, Chase uses a stale premise in a fresh, new way. The psychological aspect of the film carries you through the otherwise slow start, keeping you watching and curious as to what will transpire – at any given moment.
Azhy Robertson portrays Oliver with a clear display of talent beyond his years. It can’t be an easy role to play to such awe-inspiring results. I’d be surprised if there wasn’t an abundance of award nominations in the pipeline for the young actor and his undisputable gift.
Chase has a distinct prowess when it comes to building a story. Through clever dialogue, he answers underlying questions that arise with precision timing and without being too obvious. It’s seldom we see clichés used in such a way they seem unique, but Chase has definitely managed to turn them around and into something interesting.
If you’re looking for a dark and interesting film that explores emotion and is threaded with a steady story, then Come Play is definitely worth looking in to. While the chances are that it won’t scare you in a way that some other films in the genre will, it does keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.