Tuesday, January 26, 2021

[Blu-ray Review] - Come Play (2020)

Arriving today on Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is creepy PG-13 thriller COME PLAY from director/writer Jacob Chase. It's based on the director's short film LARRY (2017). Produced by Amblin Partners, The Picture Company, and Reliance Entertainment, and distributed by Focus Features, the film was scheduled to be released theatrically on July 24, 2020, but was rescheduled to October 30, 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During its worldwide run in theaters, it managed to bring in over $12 million on a $9 million budget. Yeah, that amount might not sound like much, but considering the world we currently live in, the movie did pretty decent against low odds.

COME PLAY centers on a lonely non-verbal autistic eight-year-old boy, Oliver (played by Azhy Robertson), who uses his cell phone and tablet to communicate with others. Late one night, a picture book titled Misunderstood Monsters mysterious appears on his phone, and then weird things start to occur. A creature from the unknown wants to befriend Oliver, despite the fact the boy wants nothing to do with it.  
Like every other horror film, nobody believes the protagonist. However, this film has a midway twist where Oliver's parents, Marty and Sarah (played by John Gallagher Jr. and Gillian Jacobs), witness Larry for themselves. To make a long story short (and a way for me to avoid spoiling the entire movie for me), Sarah will do anything and everything to protect her son from being pulled into Larry's world. 


Final Thoughts

I don't expect too much from PG-13 horror flicks, but I thoroughly enjoyed COME PLAY. It's a slow-moving tale that focuses more on character development and tension buildup than it does on actual horror. The last ten minutes is a creepy as hell, mostly thanks to the monster puppet effects created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

The picture and sound qualities on the Blu-ray are topnotch. Sadly, there are zero special features on the disc. It would have been great if there were a behind-the-scene extra on the creation of Larry, but there's nothing, not even one commentary.

Overall, COME PLAY is a surprisingly entertaining kid-friendly horror film. The movie itself gets 4-stars from me, but I'm knocking off a star because of the lack of features/extras.

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