Halloween has come around again, and with it a crop of new and not so new scary films. The new horror film is “Come Play.”
In this tale, a monster named Larry attacks an autistic boy, his family and friends. Larry uses our various electronic devices as his route of attack. Now that seems scary to me. As far as I am concerned, the tech we use daily comes from some deep, dark magical place.
Writer/director Jacob Chase adapted the film from a short subject he made, expanding it to a full-length feature. This is his second outing with a full-scale film. He has also made several short films. He does a capable job here without letting his personal style and skill get in the way of the story.
His cast includes Gillian Jacobs. We might have seen her in any of some 85 roles, including the TV series “Community.” The busy Miss Jacobs has six parts, even in this plague year of 2020. Admirable, that. Her co-star and the only other famous name is actor/musician John Gallagher Junior. We might recognize him from his many roles, appearances, “Jonah Hex” and “10 Cloverfield Lane” among them. Young Azhy Robertson plays Oliver, the focus of the monstrous attack. This makes the young actor’s third outing on the big screen.
I won’t trouble you with the plot except to say that living entities connected to the electronic world no longer have the strange novelty they once did. We now have seen any number of variations on this theme. If “Lawnmower Man” or “Lucy” didn’t put you off, the presumptions in “Come Play” will not either.
As we try to survive the plague year with little to entice us to the theater, if the theaters actually open, we take what solace we can find. We can call this film innocuous. That is, it does not actively insult us or demean us or disgust us. We can still enjoy the movie experience. We can enjoy the popcorn and a story that, if nothing else, takes us away from our troubles for an hour and a half. In 2020, sometimes, that is all we get to ask for, and at bottom, it is all we need.
The scary horror/drama “Come Play” runs for 1:36. It has a mild PG-13 rating. This seems like a benign rating level, but the professional raters deem it unsuitable for people under 13 years of age. There is no point in giving second graders nightmares. This well-crafted chiller gets a below-average two saw blades.