Come Out and Play


No, I’ll Stay Safe Inside, Thanks.

Main cast: Vinessa Shaw and Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Director: Makinov

Before giving birth to their third child, Beth (Vinessa Shaw, The Hills Have Eyes) and Francis (Ebon Moss-Bachrach, The Last Ship) decide Beth’s seventh month of pregnancy is the perfect time to take a last vacation. In Mexico. During the hot season. To be fair, Francis, possibly in a show of support, decides to dress in jeans and a long-sleeve denim shirt. He does roll the sleeves up, though; he’s not a masochist.

The couple rent a boat and take off for a remote island where they plan to spend the next five days. But upon their arrival, things are strange from the beginning. The stores are empty. The hotel is empty. The streets are empty, except for the dozens of children playing and laughing.

They do finally find an old man, but before they can ask him what’s the what, a girl grabs the old man’s cane and beats him to death with it. Whoops. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Okay, then, things just went from weird to holy f**k.

Francis grabs the cane and threatens the girl with it, so she runs off, leaving the stunned adults alone. They decide to continue their search for adults, which means Francis leaving Beth outside by herself while he goes into the hotel and searches more rooms, finally discovering several murdered corpses.

This seems to be the way of it with these two, though. Francis tells his very pregnant and scared wife, “Stay here. Alone. In the open on this remote island where we know for a fact the children are murdering the adults. I’m gonna go and see if I can find anything or anyone that might be of use to us. You’ll be alright. Right?” And off he goes. Sure, she’s pregnant, but Beth isn’t a cripple, she’s totally capable of accompanying him, and keeping things like what happens next from happening. Luckily, what happens next isn’t that serious, it’s just an old man, native to the island, who hid in the laundry room last night when shit start going south. He’s scared and armed with a broken bottle and doesn’t know that Beth isn’t the culprit behind all the mischief. Luckily Francis speaks the language and is able to assure the old man he and his wife had nothing to do with it.

I’d like to say there is strength in numbers when the old man shows up, but that would only be true if I also mentioned there are DOZENS of killer kids, and one of them is the old man’s daughter, so obviously he falls under her sway when she pleads with him to come home because mother and grandmother are sick. He doesn’t make it.

Now, I’m not saying Come Out and Play is a ridiculous movie. The premise is solid and terrifying. But the characters, man, they just do a WHOLE lot of stuff that I can’t see anyone in their right minds doing in the same situation. Then again, considering how Francis is dressed in the middle of summer and the fact Beth waited until her seventh month of pregnancy to take this trip, I can’t insure either of them are in their right minds. Also, why take a vacation with the third child anyway? Do they think the third child means an end to vacations at all? People have been known to take their kids on vacations with them. I’ve done it, and I have three kids. But that’s just me, and I don’t know Beth and Francis’s life, so…

The movie itself is well-made, especially when you realize director Makinov (his only name) was also writer Makinov (in a technical sense only; the movie is a remake of 1976’s Island of the Damned, which is an adaptation of a novel by Juan Jose Plans), editor Makinov, producer Makinov and cinematographer Makinov. For a man with so many jobs, he handled them well, I thought. Come Out and Play might be flawed, but it looks pretty good to me.

Shaw is criminally underutilized here, which just makes her character Beth seem weak and shallow, while Ebon Moss-Bachrach’s Francis is the only one who seems to be doing anything at all to help the situation. Unfortunately, nothing he does helps the situation as nothing he does equates to “Let’s get back in the boat we came here on and get the f**k out.” I mean, that would have been my first thought, and I’m not even a master strategist. But I wouldn’t have taken my seven-months-pregnant wife to Mexico during summer, either.

Despite my complaints, I did like this movie. The tension was high throughout and there wasn’t a moment where I felt I was able to predict what was going to come next. Makinov didn’t fall into the trap of trying to explain the events with some hokey exposition about a poisoned water supply or mysterious lights in the sky the night before. By the movie’s end we have no idea why the kids are doing what they’re doing, but a certain event with Beth while she and Francis are taking refuge inside the local jail carries some very dark implications that make me desperately want to see what happens next.

I would definitely recommend this movie, if you can find it cheap. It’s good, but I wouldn’t pay full price for the DVD or Blu-Ray as it’s probably not one you’re going to want to bother watching more than once. Still very much worth seeing that one time, though.

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