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Review: 'Come Out and Play' provides simple chills

A couple are on vacation and targeted for death by creepy kids in a simple but eerie horror story.

March 21, 2013|By Gary Goldstein
  • Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Vinessa Shaw in the film "Come Out and Play."
Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Vinessa Shaw in the film "Come Out and Play." (Cinedigm/ Flatiron Film…)

A pair of terror movie staples — the vacation from hell and the murderous children tale — are combined to OK effect in "Come Out and Play," a remake of the 1976 film "Who Can Kill a Child?" which, like "Play," was based on Juan José Plan's novel "El Juego De Niños."

A one-man band known as Makinov — he wrote, directed, produced, shot, edited and ran sound here — has done a pretty decent job in the chills department using a simple story, small cast and largely contained location. For horror fans, there are also enough gruesome images, icky concepts and "don't-go-there" moments to carry the day.

While vacationing in Mexico, a married couple, the circumspect, seven months' pregnant Beth (Vinessa Shaw) and the jauntier Francis (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), take a side trip to a tiny, colorful island off the coast. Upon arrival, though, they find the place weirdly empty, save for a group of creepy kids who lurk about like extras from "The Birds."

Turns out, these zombified youngsters are inexplicably killing adults and, guess what? Beth and Francis are next. That is, unless our gringos-out-of-water can exit the island pronto, which, given the stacked deck they face, is no small task.

It all leads to an ending that, although filled with muddy symbolism, is disturbing and, frankly, unexpected.

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"Come Out and Play."

No MPAA rating.

Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes.

In English and Spanish with English subtitles.

At Laemmle's Noho 7, North Hollywood.

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