Hey gang, Valkor here. TOV is nearing its ten year anniversary and I couldn't be more proud with everything I've accomplished with the site since its birth up until I took over the reins. I would have thought at this point I'd have been bored doing the site, but every year its gets better and way more interesting. So to quote one of my favorites characters, from the game Final Fantasy 7: there ain't no getting' off of this train we're on! So to keep things moving, I'm back with another MediaView treat that tastes just so-so. I'm talkin about "kids' gone wild" film "Come Out and Play" DVD. The film is a remake of 1976 Spanish film "Who Can Kill a Child?" Beware a few spoilers, though nothing major.
Come Out and Play centers on married couple Francisco (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and mom to be Beth (Vinessa Shaw). While vacationing in Mexico, the two decide to rent a boat out to a remote island called Punta Hueca. When they arrive, children are playing on the docks but as we go further in, the place appears to be abandoned. They attribute the silence to the locals resting after a night of wild and crazy festival action. But only after watching an old man get beat down, dragged away, and mutilated to death by a pack of children ranging in age of 6 – 13, do they realize that there's something very sinister afoot and they need to hightail it out of there pronto. But the couple will soon realize that escape… is not an option - at least not alive.
Going in, I was reminded of "Eden Lake", which also features a couple taking a remote getaway, only to be harassed and tortured by a bunch of punk teenagers. That film was quite graphic and so intense. How does a similar film fare against it? Let's find out in the TOV Breakdown.
Come Out and Play is just an "OK" film; I've seen better and Eden Lake eclipses by far. But on its own the film is creepy and enjoyable, especially towards the end. It's not too violent and the suspense level is timid, also the pacing is good so you won't feel too bogged down by the 80 plus minute runtime. And the last 20 minutes is your money shot because it explodes into awesome. You'll not only cheer, but you'll also shout "it's about fucking time". The acting is also the film's strongest suite, not just from the two main actors but also because of the children. I mean if I saw a pack of kids like them looming about, I'd be outta there with the quickness. In the end, I wasn't completely disappointed with the film. So, not a bad first time outing for debut director Makinov.
Basically Come Out and Play is a film about a couple who make a bunch of really bad decisions that will piss you off while watching it. The town appears abandoned? Let's hang out and have lunch. You see an old guy get bashed in the face? Let's lock ourselves in a hotel rather than try to make an escape. You get a working car going and the evil brats are standing right in front of you? Let's drive around them, because they're kids just acting out or whatever. Freakin made me wanna throw stuff at the screen, I was so mad with what they were doing! The film also lacks tension, which Eden Lake had for days. Most of the time the couple is either hiding out or running away; they don't do much fighting back (except towards the end when Francisco is pushed too far). Plus the kids in "Lake" put that couple through their paces. What about the kids in "Come Out and Play"? They don't do all that much, though there is one messed up scene where they're playing with dismembered body parts. It would have been cool to see them take down more adults. SO zero tension and not much gore, equals one unhappy Val.
Poor Beth; now what happens to her is unexpectedly fucked up. Oh and that one kid who Francisco bashes in the face? Youch!
Come Out and Play is making the theatrical rounds, plus you can find it on video on demand or digital services. The film gets a wider DVD/Blu-Ray release in June, so pick your poison. There's a lot about the film that will angry up your blood, but the ride isn't bad and the ending will surprise you. In the end I'd say give it a try. So, out of TOV 5 stars, I give "Come Out and Play" a 2.5. But if you want real tension and suspense, go watch Eden Lake.