COME OUT AND PLAY (2012)
Dir. Makinov 87 mins
UK Release: 6th May 2013
They did what ? They remade ‘Who Can Kill A Child?’. Sacrilege ! In essence that’s what will likely go through the mind of anyone who has seen the excellent 1976 Spanish horror film from Narciso Ibanez Serrador. For the remake we find the location has switched from Spain to Mexico and the very English Tom and Evelyn are now Francisco (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and Beth (Vinessa Shaw).
‘Come Out and Play’ follows the storyline of the original quite resolutely, and opens with Francis scouring a mainland village one evening for a boat to rent for him and his pregnant wife to explore an island just off the coast – Punta Hueca. After managing to strike a deal with a local resident, the young couple set out the following day over to the remote haven. Upon arrival the only people to be seen are a group of playful children, albeit with one giving our holidaying couple a lingering stare from his dark circle laden eyes – hinting at the forthcoming peril that will face them.
Exploration of the island initially yields discovery of a café with its owner seemingly absent, at which point Francisco leaves Beth with a coke and sets off to find the local store. At this point the desertedness of the island becomes strikingly apparent – apart from the children that is, one of whom has joined Beth in the café and seems particularly absorbed by her pregnant state.
As the pair then set off for a stroll through the village they find a child beating an old man to death with his walking stick. Francisco steps in to save the man, but as he rushes for supplies to aid him, moments later the children have intervened once more and are seen dragging the elderly gentleman by a rope through the village before viciously beating him to death as Francisco and Beth watch helplessly, pondering their next move on this hellish paradise.
Come Out and Play has a lot to like about it. It has a great synth based score, the Mexican location is certainly an equal to that of Andalucia from the original. The kills are brutal, shocking and effective, and as a note of positivity it doesn’t at least fall into the PG-13 batch of US remakes with generic expressionless lead actors and toned down gore.
That said, this movie struggles to shrug off the big neon “why ?” that hangs over it. There is ultimately nothing new, contemporary or different that’s been injected to the picture to make it stand out from what was an atmospheric, chilling original. Horror fans who haven’t seen the 1976 version will find it worthy of affection, but personally I would much prefer the original, which is available to rent or buy in the UK from Eureka Entertainment.
6 out of 10