Ahoy, squirts! Quint here having seen the film COME OUT AND PLAY, a horrific slow burn creepshow about an American couple who visit a small Mexican island where they discover all the adults are gone and roving band of children might not be as innocent as they first appear.
Usually when you use the word “horrific” in a review for a genre picture it’s a positive thing, but I mean exactly the opposite here. I really didn’t like this movie. Well, not exactly… I actually love this movie, but the movie I love is the original 1976 film it’s a pale remake of called Who Can Kill A Child?
I found Come Out And Play to be the worst kind of remake: 98% of the film is exactly the original movie, just poorly done, and the 2% they changed or ignored was some of the most crucial pieces to get right.
So I can never ever recommend this movie to anyone because why do that when the exact same movie, but better, is even easier to find on DVD?
This is usually the part where I have to spend two paragraphs defending me comparing a remake to the original, but I’m going to spare you that this time and just say that any remake, adaptation or sequel is absolutely open to comparison. You may disagree, but I’m sorry, you’re wrong.
Especially when it’s a film like this where the director (I’ll get to him in a minute) almost Gus Van Sant’s it and just recreates the original film damn near shot for shot. What’s the point? I’m going to go into some spoilers here, so if you have any desire to stay pure on this then avoid this watered down remake and instead buy the original. It’s a weird and ballsy film that has a lot on its mind.
So, basically the story is about this tiny island where the children all wake up one day and kill the adults. The original film has a borderline preachy eco reason behind it, that it’s nature setting something off here like a virus as a way to wipe out the warring, polluting horrible adults and make a new world without their influence.
There’s none of that here, which is fine. My problem with the movie is that it’s so much the same story told the same way that there’s no point in even doing it in the first place, so I’d be a hypocrite if I faulted it for not including the exact same plot device that framed the original.
Where they really fucked up was by just ignoring it completely, which takes away any of the actual subtext and skews the film almost solely to the worst kind of soulless exploitation that gives genre as a whole a bad name. Don’t get me wrong, Come Out and Play is not Murder Set Pieces awful, it’s just someone playing at being a filmmaker with a shocking premise that he essentially just traced (badly) from the real movie.
And that brings us to Makinov. Yes, a one-named director who apparently always wears a mask and won’t reveal his identity, not just to the public, but to his cast and crew. He recorded an intro out in the woods of God knows where, speaking Spanish through a voice distorter and rambled a bit about his own personal legend.
The man wouldn’t need the schtick if he focused on blazing some new trails. Something like Who Can Kill A Child? is ripe for a remake because it’s a great, simple idea that is obscure to 98% of your audience (in a non-Fantastic Fest setting, of course… here there were about 1/3rd of the crowd that raised their hands when asked if they’d seen the original). However you can’t pretend to be this hardcore new force of horror filmmaking if the best you can offer is a film that is simply a bad photocopy.
I’m sure under different leadership lead actors Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Vinessa Shaw would have had more to work with, but as it is they float through the movie fine when they just need to act scared, but struggle when having to spit out Makinov’s words when the shit hits the fan.
Makinov also messed up the children aspect. What made them so effecting in the first film was that they weren’t Children of the Corn creepy, they were simply kids at play like normal children… except their version of playing involved stringing up adults in a rather fucked up version of piñata.
Here, with one noticeable exception, they are quiet, frowny, glaring kids that look like they were just told to stand there and put on their most brooding faces.
The whole conflict of the movie, what makes this story unique, is that these two adults could easily plow through the 20-30 children if they wanted to, but despite their evil actions, they look, sound and act like kids. If they’re always looking evil then you don’t side with the adults who struggle to defend themselves and just get impatient for them to man up and knock aside these 65 pound 4 foot tall 9 year olds and get back to their boat.
I’m not anti-remake, but I am anti-lazy remake and that’s exactly what this movie is. Anything I could tell you that’s good about this movie is done 100 times better in the original and the very few times it departs at all from the original film it’s done in a horribly thoughtless way that makes me think Makinov had no idea what made the first film so effective.
So, fuck this movie. If the premise sounds at all interesting to you, just click the link below.
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