Come Play – Blu-ray Review

Come Play

Directing his first feature horror film, writer/director Jacob Chase is already at ease with making audiences uneasy. Chase’s less-is-more approach gives audiences a glimpse of the monster through the use of a phone or tablet’s camera app. Avid gamers will undoubtedly recognize the film’s concept similarities to games like Fatal Frame and Outlast. Much like the games, this leads to several tense scenes that develop into some real frights. 

Not to mention, the work by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop makes Larry appear realistically terrifying. He’s tall, gangly, disproportionate, and extremely pale. You rarely get a look at his face as well, except for the occasional peek of his bright red eyes. At the same time, cinematographer Maxime Alexandre (The Haunting of Bly Manor) uses the smallest amounts of light to create an eerie atmosphere that complements the Creature Shop’s monster work. 

Chase also gets good performances out of his cast and elicits terrific amounts of frights and suspense as things progressively escalate. Although Gillian Jacobs and John Gallagher, Jr. carry their fair share of the film, Come Play relies heavily on the strength of Azhy Robertson’s performance. He did a surprising amount of research for the role, including shadowing children on the spectrum. In doing so, he’s able to emulate their mannerisms to create the most realistic portrayal of an autistic child to date. It’s what makes the dynamic between Oliver and the other characters so interesting, especially since Oliver rarely communicates through speech. This allows for a mainly physical performance from Robertson to convey Oliver’s wide-range of emotions to the audience.

Through Robertson’s performance, it’s able to amplify the film’s themes of bullying. There are undoubtedly parallels between the monster and our young protagonist. The bullies in the film are the real misunderstood monsters that Larry — and Jacob Chase — was telling us about. They’re particularly mean to him because of a very valid reason and not because of pure prejudice against Oliver’s autism. 

Overall, Come Play is a solid horror film that delivers on some spine-tingling thrills. Oliver’s loneliness and the underlying family drama serve as a solid foundation for this modern-day creature feature. Not to mention, Jacob Chase completely gets the genre and how to effectively scare the audience. Not bad for his first horror feature.

Movie Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Come Play - Gavin Maclver-Wright, Winslow Fegley, Azhy Robertson, and Jayden Marine

Video

Come Play hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Now, the film isn’t visually striking, but don’t let that fool you into thinking negatively about the video presentation. The picture is excellent. The brightness is consistent throughout as the light illuminating from the various lamps and lighting fixtures shine off the screen. However, the blacks are deep and the shadow detail is excellent — a relief considering most of the film takes place at night. The muted color palette won’t wow in terms of the number of vibrant colors. After all, this isn’t that type of film. Nevertheless, the colors are accurate throughout. Best of all, the picture is clean and clear, with a strong level of detail throughout.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Come Play - John Gallagher Jr.

Audio

Come Play hits Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. As I’ve said plenty of times before, the key to every horror Blu-ray release is a dynamic sound mix. Thankfully, Come Play delivers on that front. The spot-on sound effects based upon what’s happening onscreen is definable within the soundstage. The atmospherics are nicely mixed throughout, offering precise immersive moments at different points in the film. Roque Baños’s score complements the atmospheric effects. Not to mention, the musical horror cues are surprisingly engaging since it fully utilizes the subwoofer for maximum impact. Despite all of the chaos, the dialog still comes out with amazing clarity. 

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Come Play - Gillian Jacobs and Azhy Robertson

Special Features

Unfortunately, Come Play‘s Blu-ray disc doesn’t come with any special features.

Special Features Rating: n/a


Overall, Come Play is a thoroughly entertaining creature feature. It may have a simple premise, but director Jacob Chase is able to still take the viewer on a scare-filled ride. The video and audio presentations are great for the film’s thematic content. Unfortunately, there are no special features included in this release. Not even the short film that Come Play is based on. 

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Facebook Comments

About author

Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1628 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.