When Oliver, a young boy, reads a story online about misunderstood monsters he has no idea that is about to unleash a monster, putting himself and his parents in the path of a relentless entity hellbent on dragging Oliver back to his world.
Being autistic and no-verbal (he doesn’t talk) has left Oliver with no friends and with a mother who struggles to cope with the situation. The monster in this film is drawn to the boy because of his loneliness. Making the situation both sad and frightening.
While yes, Come Play is a horror film, it’s also much more. It’s about one family’s struggle to cope with autism. I guess it affected me more than it will some others. You see, I have an autistic nephew who is precious. He was non-verbal for years and the thought that something or someone could get to him through his loneliness scares the hell out of me as does the thought that people might bully him as they did Oliver. The battle these kids face is terrifying enough without adding a giant evil monster named Larry.
Writer-director Jacob Chase created a horror movie that not only is frightening but at its heart is complex, emotional, and entertaining. It brings to light the struggle that so many families face and has a real message about how autistic people are mistreated, misunderstood, and how they often feel alone, feared, and ostracized and he did it with respect, which I thank him for.
Young actor Azhy Robertson who stars as Oliver did a fantastic job of portraying an autistic kid without it coming across as insulting, and that’s a delicate balance. Gillian Jacobs was great as his mother Sarah whose fear and frustration read as authentic. Marty, Oliver’s father was played by John Gallagher Jr. did great as well. Let’s not forget Winslow Fegley who nailed being absolutely terrified.
Let’s talk about Larry for a second, the creature is fantastic. Bravo to the designers and special effects crew! They created a humanoid creature that we’ve never really seen before and it’s scary as hell! The first thing you notice is Larry’s pale, thin skin draped over a body that resembles a hunched over old man, only his arms and legs are double the length and he has a face only a mother could love. And he’s looking for a friend.
If you are wondering if Come Play is scary, let me assure you that it is. Not only are there a ton of jump scares, but you also get real tension and intensity that makes Come Play a must-see. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the movie and even jumped a few times which rarely happens these days.
Come Play is a truly terrifying tale that will leave you wanting to turn off your phone or better yet, throw it out the window. It’s intense, scary, heartbreaking, gripping, and heartwarming in a way you wouldn’t expect from a horror movie. So, do I recommend you watch it? Hell yeah, I do. In fact, I’m giving it a big 5 out of 5! Come Play opens in theaters this Halloween, from Focus Features! Go see it!