At one point, I had considered heading to the theater to see this film. It seemed intriguing and I like a good little horror film. Key word in that phrase though was good, and Come Play does not reach that level of quality.
Oliver (Azhy Robertson) was a little boy with Autism who had been having plenty of troubles at school. Non-verbal, Oliver required the use of a phone to help him communicate. Oliver’s parents, Sarah (Gillian Jacobs) and Marty (John Gallagher Jr.), were having issues in their relationship and battled over the amount of time each other spent with Oliver.
The problems facing Oliver allowed the young boy to be a target of a monster from a nearby dimension that is unable to interact with this world, except through the screens of phones, iPads and TV screens, using the electricity to jump around- being used as doors.
The monster’s name is Larry.
And poor Larry was lonely. He just wanted a friend.
Honestly, while there were some parts of the premise of Come Play were decent and had potential to be more, it fails in the execution. There are really dumb things that happen.
Azhy Robertson does a decent job as the main kid, but I did not buy his as Autistic. It felt like the film was using Autism as a way to have the kid isolated. It seemed as if Oliver was only sort of Autistic, kind of a film version of the disorder. He was a likable actor though.
This film also has a strange connection to Spongebob Squarepants. The cartoon seemed to be the one thing that could calm Oliver and the theme of the show was a major piece of the story. Not sure if the producers of the movie had some kind of connection to Spongebob, but it was a weird piece of the movie.
In the end, Come Play had some effective jump scares and a somewhat scary looking monster…Larry, that is… (Larry made me think of Flukeman from X-Files days) but any positives the film may have had were spoiled with the way the plot developed and the choices of the characters. Not even Spongebob could save this movie.