Had it not been for the ‘Rona, I would by now have written reviews for HALLOWEEN KILLS and CANDYMAN. As disappointed as I was when those two films, among the multitude, were bumped from the schedule until next year, this past weekend found me in the theater watching COME PLAY. I have to tell you, it wasn’t a bad consolation prize. COME PLAY is freakin’ fantastic. Kudos to writer-director Jacob Chase and to the cast and crew. Well done, folks!
COME PLAY is a Monster movie. A good, old-fashioned Monster movie. A little non-verbal autistic boy, ostracized by his peers, communicates via his laptop (or cellphone). It is through the device that he “meets” Larry, a “misunderstood” monster who only wants to be his friend. Given the premise, there are certain expectations as to how the story will lay out. COME PLAY dumps those expectations on the floor and scatters them. You would expect the Monster (who feeds, leechlike, on electricity as well as using it to travel) to lurk in the shadows, in secret, to slowly try to realize its goal. Nuh-uh. Not Larry.
This one put me in mind, in that respect, of the original JEEPERS CREEPERS. There’s the trope of people in Horror movies making stupid decisions. It’s scarier, it has been said, when they *don’t* make bad choices, when they do everything right—and the bad guy wins anyway. That happened in JEEPERS CREEPERS, and it happens here. Larry doesn’t care if people know he’s coming. He tells them he’s coming—and there isn’t a damn thing they can do to stop him. The only possible weakness is that I did sorta figure out the ending before it happened, but I wasn’t sure how exactly it would play out. This is a minor thing given how fresh and formidable the movie is overall. If you dare to venture out to the theater anytime soon, make sure to catch COME PLAY.