October 28, 2015

Movie Review: Come Out and Play

In 1976 there was a movie released called Who Can Kill a Child?, it has had a few other names over the years, but this is the title that I saw it under. I saw it projected (digitally) about a year ago, it left me shaken and a little stirred. It was not a perfect movie, but it is an unsettling one that asks some tough questions and does not offer much in the way of answers. Now, this year I have come across a movie called Come Out and Play, which is as close as a shot for shot remake as you can get this side of Gus Van Sant's Psycho.

This remake was made by a person with one name, Makinov. This is the only film this person has made and they are credited as director, writer, producer, cinematographer, sound, and editor. Somewhere along the way, they forgot to mention the original anywhere in the credits. That strikes me as a bit of a sneaky low blow, trying to get one past the audience. On top of that, Makinov's name is presented in gigantic letters at the outset of the movie and as the credits began. What are they trying to say with that? Do you think you are bigger than the original creative team or the original movie? Shame on you.

As for the movie itself, if you can get past the egomania on display by the director is not all that bad. Again, you have to recognize it as a near shot for shot of the original film. I do not have a real problem recommending it, but I would have to give it an asterisk and remind you that it is not an original film and the 1976 film is the superior creation, of course.

The story follows a couple looking to take one last vacation before the arrival of a new baby. They are looking to go to a quiet island off the coast of Mexico. They rent a boat and make their way to the island. Upon arriving there, they come across some kids playing on the docks. They are helpful enough in getting their bags out of the boat. They then take their leave, walking into town.

Now,this is where things begin to get a little weird. There is nobody else around the restaurant/bar is empty, there is no one at the hotel, there is no one anywhere. However, there are some kids. A young girl comes in and feels the woman's pregnant belly, before running off. Then there is the old man they find, attacked by a group of kids.

I cannot really say too much more without giving stuff away from the film. It is an effective movie, if not wholly original. It is a movie that questions, like the title of the original, who can kill a child? Logically, the answer should be no. However, could there come a time when it is acceptable or necessary? It is a tough question to answer, and hopefully not a situation I will ever find myself in.

The movie is technically sound, but for as watchable as it is, there are some decisions made that bring it down somewhat (in addition to not mentioning the source). The music is a little too on point. It is horror music to set a mood, and I feel that the music sets too much of a mood, putting the audience a bit on edge rather than keeping us at a more even keel. There is also another reveal that is a little on the nose and too revealing, I won't say what, but it will be obvious when you see it. Finally, as the climax approaches, the original does a much better job of building the tension of the situation.

It is easy to rip on the movie for its non-acknowledgement of the source, but at the same time the movie is really not that bad. Yes, it is a remake, but the material is still effective and relatable. So, yes, see this, but also see the original. See the original first if you can.


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