Macabre…ish Horror Review: Come Play
Come Play, 2020/ 96 min
Oliver (Azhy Robertson) is a nonverbal autistic child who communicates with a cell phone and tablet. On an app called Misunderstood Monsters and one monster, Larry, wants to make friends. As the story goes on, weird things begin to happen like, the lights go out on their own. And at night, Oliver hears movement around the house that isn’t his mom. And he’s having nightmares.
At school, Oliver has no friends and is bullied. But from inside his phone, Larry watches. It’s not just his device either but random devices nearby, Larry watches and interacts with Oliver. And one day, Oliver sees Larry outside the story app and in the background of another app, standing in the room with him. But he can only be seen through a camera lens.
Soon Larry also starts interacting through Oliver’s speech app. And it terrifies him, so much so that he hides the ipad in a crawl space.
His mother, Sarah (Gillian Jacobs) plans a sleep over. The kids who come over are his bullies, unbeknownst to her. Though one actually is interested in being his friend. While Oliver sleeps, one of them goes through his stuff and brings out the tablet and starts making fun of him and reading the Misunderstood Monsters story, effectively summoning Larry. All the bulbs explode in the room and something, in the corner across the room, lurks. Using that tablet light and camera, they see it.
And for some reason one of the kids grabs the tablet and keeps reading the story. But he rejects Larry’s friendship. Then things start moving across the room and the kids are attacked. The kids end up going home early and blame Oliver for terrifying them.
Back at school, the kids are scared and one of them is missing. Meanwhile, in the house, it appears Larry is still there, causing mischief with Oliver’s mom and even talking to her through the app. He says, “Say goodbye to your son.” He won’t hurt him but he’s gonna take him. She immediately goes to the school and one of the other kid’s who was at the sleepover, now traumatized, explains what’s going on and that Larry is dangerous and real. But he just wants a friend.
So Oliver and his mom pack to leave and no one believes her either. But every time someone reads that story, Larry turns up and he’s getting stronger. Then Oliver’s dad, Marty (John Gallagher Jr.), sees for himself and Larry is actually lifting Oliver off the ground.
Larry starts menacing Marty. The story says Larry will never stop until he gets a new friend so everyone is in danger, as long as Larry wants Oliver to be his friend.
If Oliver finishes the story then Larry will be fully corporeal and he want’s Oliver as a friend forever. Whether he likes it or not. There is one way to keep it from happening but that will also be life changing for Oliver.
This film was directed by Jacob Chase and it is extremely underrated horror. And huge bonus points for the autistic child hero we didn’t know we needed. Plus the super creepy story, the jump scares and the twist at the end, this movie is very good. I was hooked to the bitter end. There’s no blood or guts in this movie just darkness and jump scares. Very well done.