Director: Jacob Chase
Cast: Gillian Jacobs, John Gallagher Jr., Azhy Robertson
Release Date: January 26, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
Desperate for a friend, Oliver (Robertson), a lonely boy who feels different from everyone else, seeks solace and refuge in his ever-present cell phone and tablet. When a mysterious creature uses Oliver’s devices against him to break into our world, Oliver’s parents (Jacobs and Gallagher Jr.) must fight to save their son from the monster beyond the screen.
Please Note: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Come Play’ tells the story of a lonely autistic boy named Oliver (Robertson) who primarily communicates via phones and tablets. Living with his over-stressed mother and hardworking father (Jacobs and Gallagher Jr.) that are also having their own personal problems, Oliver randomly discovers a storybook app on his device about misunderstood monsters. Unable to predict the purpose of this app, the family soon finds itself stalked by the monster from the story that has seemingly been brought to reality through their interest and now intends to take Oliver as his new permanent friend.
Written and directed by Jacob Chase (The Four-Faced Liar) and based upon his short film ‘Larry’, Chase does a solid job altogether at the helm of ‘Come Play’ balancing the heart and horror fairly well throughout. The film also benefits from a cast which features at least a few talented individuals and includes Gillian Jacobs (TV’s Love), John Gallagher Jr. (Underwater), Azhy Robertson (Marriage Story) and Winslow Fegley (TV’s Fast Layne) along with more, the majority offering solid, if not at least quite decent performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.
‘Come Play’ has its hiccups and occasionally struggles in the horror department, but in many ways helps to make up for it by exploring its characters and their relationships with enough depth to actually allow you to care about what might happen with them, and delivering a handful of scares and uncertainty relating around the creature to keep it from ever fully delving into a family drama. Utilizing a very Spielberg-like tone and a primary focus on the younger individuals along with a unique, possibly misunderstood monster in order to try and recreate much of the charm of various popular film entries from previous decades and it works rather well in many respects, while not quite reaching success in a few others. Fortunately, it picks up the pace nicely throughout and manages to find itself largely on the right course as it nears its conclusion, offering up a touching, fun and often fairly creepy tale that definitely surpassed any initial expectations I might have had going in. If you’re already at all intrigued by the film, I would encourage you to try and check out ‘Come Play’ whenever it might be convenient and make up your own mind about it. Although for first time viewers it probably wouldn’t hurt to rent the film before dropping the money on a blind purchase of the Blu-ray release to be safe.
Overall, ‘Come Play’ may not be one of the most remarkable genre outings of 2020, nor is it one of the worst. It manages to provide a clever enough premise (albeit borrowing elements from others) and delivers enough creepy fun and tension, along with a capable cast to make it worthwhile. ‘Come Play’ is recommended for genre fans that tend to appreciate a less graphic and more emotionally tense film, almost a mix between ‘The Ring’, ‘E.T.’, ‘Super 8’ and others to a degree and it does a decent enough job managing to bring the various elements together and construct it into something that should at the absolute least be able to keep you entertained for its duration. For anyone already looking forward to the film or curious about it, odds are that it will probably at least be worth ninety minutes of your time and the price of a rental.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Come Play’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great as a whole and delivers a smooth, clean and well detailed presentation from start to finish that doesn’t suffer from any notable faults or problems along the way. It holds up admirably even during the numerous darkly lit sequences which are quite frequent throughout, never resulting in anything onscreen becoming negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a great high definition video presentation that should easily please fans of the film and first time viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio Soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack provides a sharp, clean and quite active audio presentation throughout that regularly takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send music, along with creepy effects and noises, bits of dialogue and nature elements, along with more whipping throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, and never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible along the way. Overall, this is a very nice 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that sounds great every step of the way and contributes nicely to the fun and scares throughout.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Come Play’ does not contain any bonus content.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
‘Come Play’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
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