Come Play is a 2020 horror film written and directed by Jacob Chase (Stars in Shorts, Patient Zero, Larry, and The Four-Faced Liar). It’s based on the 2017 short film “Larry”. It was produced by Andrew Rona (Scream franchise, Mimic franchise, Reindeer Games, Dracula franchise, Cursed, The Losers, and Equilibrium). The budget was $9 million and it grossed $12.6 million at the box office.
Oliver (played by: Azhy Robertson from Marriage Story, Rough Night, Furlough, and Beyond the Night) is a young non-verbal autistic boy who uses a smartphone to communicate with people. He attends school and is mostly taken care of by his mother Sarah (played by: Gillian Jacobs from The Twilight Zone, Choke, The Box, and Community) and his father Marty (played by: John Gallagher Jr. from Jonah Hex, Hush, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and The Belko Experiment) spends most of his time at work trying to make ends meet. They are having marriage problems and Marty has moved out. One night Oliver sees an app on his smartphone, “Misunderstood Monsters”, narrating the story of a monster named “Larry” who “just wants a friend”. Strange things begin happening to Oliver after he reads the story: lights go out by themselves, and a second face appears on his tablet while he plays with a picture app. One night, Sarah organizes a sleepover so Oliver can become more social. The three boys who bullied him come over. Oliver hides the tablet as he is terrified of it. One of the boys retrieves the tablet and reads the story. The lights go out and Larry appears but he can only be seen through the camera of the tablet. Larry attacks Byron (played by: Winslow Fegley from Fast Layne, Rough Night, and The Good Doctor), one of the boys, and the terrified boys all blame Oliver for the incident. In the following days, Sarah begins to experience the same weird situations as her son. She tries to interact with him and finds out that he’s trying to take her kid away for good. Larry, revealing as a skeletal creature similar to a ghoul starts to stalk the father and son at his work one night. The family comes together to stop this evil from taking over Oliver. Can they end all this madness before it’s all too late????
Sometimes, movies are shorts for a reason and this one should have stayed one because it wasn’t enough for a full length feature. Come Play is loaded with filler and it’s really boring for most of it’s running time to be honest. It has the occasional jump scare or suspense moment before the finale but it’s few and far between. It plays out more like a drama than a horror film until the last 20 minutes. I understand and appreciate that they were not trying to show the monster until the end but it just kinda made this one bland and nothing really happened in it. If you want to watch a film about a dysfunctional family with a weird child then you might enjoy this more than I did because I was expecting something completely different by it’s concept and trailer. Azhy Robertson is okay as the lead but he doesn’t have to talk so there’s not much there for him to do because he didn’t really capitalize on the psychically of a silent performance like that. He wasn’t bad here but he was nothing special just like all the other supporting cast in this besides the parents. Both Gillian Jacobs and John Gallagher Jr. were the best things about this production. They pulled off the couple falling apart angle and it felt real. Don’t get me wrong, the last 20 minutes is solid here but by the time it’s get there no one really cares anymore. The build up is not good enough and it doesn’t really hold your attention until then. I know it’s early in 2021 but this one is the most disappointing horror film that I’ve seen so far this year.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Universal Pictures! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks fantastic on blu ray. It has a few different audio options like English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: DTS 5.1, and Spanish: DTS 5.1 on the disc. The audio is very impressive here especially with the very few thrill moments and it’s suspenseful finale. The dialogue is crystal clear and the music has a killer boost to it. It has English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles. There’s no extras on this home video release. I am shocked that the original short isn’t included on here. It also comes with a slipcover and a digital code. It’s available everywhere right now.