Friday, March 8

Come Out and Play Review

Come Out and Play
Dir: Makinov
Starring: Ebon Moss-Bacharach and Vinessa Shaw

The 1976 cult horror film Who Can Kill A Child gets an update by the masked director known only as Makinov. The original film, directed by Narciso Serrador and based on the Juan Jose Plans novel, may seem like prime property for an updated rendering for those who don’t appreciate the affecting original. Makinov succeeds at intensifying the assisting elements of suspense and tension through technical structure, but a distinct lack of character development and a focus on emulating the original in a somewhat “shot for shot” perspective keeps the film stuck in familiarity.

  The story introduces us to a pregnant woman named Beth (Vinessa Shaw) and her husband Francis (Ebon Moss-Bacharach) who are on vacation in a tropical paradise. They decide to rent a boat and visit a small island that is holding a festival. Upon arriving on the tiny island they are welcomed with desolation, and the only population is a roving, menacing batch of children. The couple, after some lingering investigation, soon discovery that the adults have all been attacked, most brutally killed, at the hands of the children.

The film was lensed in coastal southeast Mexico and offers a stunning locale that accommodates much of the authentic island ambiance.  While the malevolent mischief of the children may seem like the immediate focus, much of what composes “killer kid” films as intriguing material is the portrayal of how adults deal with the situation they are thrown into. Like the questioning title of the original property the audience is forced to ask the same difficult query, which is beguiling when the iconography of innocence is the key persecution.

Makinov displays some ingenuity in the technical realm of the film, allowing both subtle and dramatic camera movements to foster apprehension and astute editing choices that keep the violence methodically subdued in the forceful hands of the children, a far scarier employed method. While these elements assist in disguising the faults in the poorly paced narrative, it’s not quite enough to hide the other narrative concerns, one being the attention to character development. The introduction of the mentality associated with a pregnant woman and the lingering thoughts of a soon-to-be father offer fascinating opportunities to explore the characters with greater depth, but they are missed here.
The success of films like The Children and The Brood remains in the portrayal of the emotions of both the kids and the adults. Come Out and Play spends too much time trying to enlighten when it should remain ambiguous about the “how” and “why” of the story. The performances are at times accomplished, but also somewhat lost in a wandering screenplay. Because the pacing is disheveled the performances suffer because of the dramatic shifts in terror. It seems like terrible incidents are forgotten about from one scene to next, an unrealistic emotion for expecting parents dealing with deadly children.
Though Makinov handles the film with high amounts of diligence towards the original, it would have been to the film’s benefit to incorporate the same inventiveness he displays with the technical aspects while fashioning the script. While hardcore horror fans might feel indifferent with this ode to the original, newcomers will surely be as effected by the contentious portrayal of violence at the hands of youth.

Monte's Rating
3.00 out of 5.00

No comments:

Post a Comment