Give any 13-year-old a FlipCam, a quart of fake blood, and two wide-eyed tourists traversing Mexico, and he could probably make a better movie than the south-of-the-border horror remake Come Out and Play. This killer-tots endeavor is crass, sloppy, and chock-full of fatigued horror tropes. From the standpoint of any layperson who has ever seen a film, Come Out and Play is just insulting.
The director, Makinov, who in real life apparently walks around with a red bag over his head, sets the film during carnival season, when dopey Francis and wet-napkin Beth are vacationing.Francis speaks Spanish with perfect fluency; however, despite this, he has no knowledge of Spanish customs and is blissfully ignorant of that fact that carnival is a loud occasion. So in search of tranquility, he rents a boat and sets sail without a tour guide to a tiny island where he and his wife can siesta. After a long montage of fade cuts and open sea, the duo arrive on the island, where no adults are to be found. There’s just a dock full of happy children, except for one who stares at Francis, cueing ominous music in a minor key.
By this point, Beth is exhausted from all the fresh air and sunlight and needs to sit down; after all, she is pregnant (oh joy!). Francis thus leaves her in a cabana while he investigates the island for the next third of the movie.
Get ready for the attempts to create suspense. The shaking camera, which appears to have been stabilized on a running washing machine, does a grand job of inducing headaches. Swells of music appear in two places: when there is a dead body that Francis fails to notice, and when children appear, as if we couldn’t put that one together. Makinov had to audibly cue us that there are scary things in a scary movie.
By the time the first killing occurs, it is little more than a gory visual payoff for sitting through 45 minutes of nada. With the second killing, the screenplay attempts to interject what is sometimes referred to as a real thinker, “I mean...who could kill a child?” After viewing this maudlin effort, anyone really. These malignant offspring, who are four feet tall max, have a propensity for playing with eyeballs and dragging heads around, making them eminently slaughterable.
So who reigns supreme in the battle of man vs. fifty-eight-year-olds? Nobody, especially not the audience. - Rachel Finley
A regular at Lenox Coffee in Harlem, Rachel Finley is a contributor to Indie Flava magazine. Currently a Macaulay Honors College attendee (CCNY), she’s a lover of movies that make her re-evaluate her life decisions.