Review: Come Out and Play / Cert: Not rated / Director: Makinov / Screenplay: Makinov / Starring: Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Vinessa Shaw / Release Date: June 18th (US) (Available on US VOD now)
Remakes are a bad idea to begin with when there’s so much original material out there to pull from. It’s even worse when one person has full control over everything during prep, production and post and he has no one to answer to but himself. Such is the case with Come Out and Play, a remake of the cult horror classic Who Can Kill a Child? from 1976 (see our 10 More Obscure Halloween Treats feature).
The film is basically a Xeroxed copy of the original movie (an experiment that was tried on the colour, shot-for-shot remake of Psycho with disastrous results). The only difference is that the story now takes place on an island off Mexico instead of Spain.
Francis (Moss-Bachrach) and his pregnant wife Beth (Shaw) travel to this remote island on vacation, only to discover that it is devoid of adults and populated by children. The reason being that the children have turned into homicidal maniacs and killed them off. Now stranded on the island, the couple have to fight off these demon kiddies and make their escape before they become the next victims.
Makinov missed the boat here by not giving the children an underlying motive for their outrages. The kids are creepy and vicious enough, but what made them that way? Why are they so bent on death and revenge? As a result, Come Out and Play just becomes a paint-by-numbers shocker. Moss-Bachrach and Shaw turn in excellent performances for what they have to work with and there are some intense scenes with moderate gore, but Makinov just doesn’t deliver the goods in this film. In his first feature, he has clearly taken on too much responsibility and the movie suffers for it. He’s a competent director and if all the duties he assumed during filming had been delegated out to others, he could have had a winner. Our advice: watch the original.