Makinov’s Come Out and Play is a remake of Who Can Kill a Child? AKA Island of the Damned. Knowing this is imperative before you begin watching it as you might feel that the story conveyed in Come Out and Play may otherwise convey a novel concept. The name has been changed to protect the innocent and maybe detach itself firmly from the shocking original film that has become somewhat of a cult classic child horror film over the years. As with any remake the question arises, “does this add anything to the concept that was not in the original film?” This translates loosely into, “why the Hell did they make a remake of a classic, cult film or not?” I want to tell you that you have a reason to prefer Come Out and Play over its predecessor, but I don’t think that’s in the cards today.
Take a look and see if this is something you might be interested in:
Now take a look at the original trailer:
I’d hate to begin by comparing the original film to its remake because I want to take them as individual movies and assess them solely based on the merit of the film. I think I’ve already alluded to my feelings about how this one fairs against the original work. Come Out and Play is slow. It builds out of an uninspired, seemingly emotionless getaway for a young couple, pregnant and exploring a new destination. The “monster” or the children do not truly emerge as the enemy for quite some time, but the allusions to the antagonists do not inspire a sense of wonder or intrigue; in short, it’s not suspenseful. It’s bleak and emotionless, and that is why it fails. Even as we reach the climax, we barely care about our fateless couple. If you don’t care about the potential victim, you have to be able to root for the attacker. If you can’t root for the attacker and you don’t care about the victim, there best be some damn good effects work to keep you entertained. In the absence of sex or gory violence and with little concern for anyone on screen, Come Out and Play fails to create a bond with the audience. Paced wrong, where it is front loaded with uneventful character building that fails to create solid character, the whole thing falls apart.
That brings us to the comparison. Who Can Kill a Child? VERSUS Come Out and Play. Safe to say, as a fan of Who Can Kill a Child?, that film is the victor. The story is identical mind you. WCKAC is shot inSpain. COAP is shot inMexico. From an aesthetic point of comparison, WKCAC is gorgeous. It looks beautiful and doesn’t try to be bleak or overly realistic. It is a work of fiction and of art. A movie. COAP tries to ground its performance in reality and removes some of the “Hollywood” magic of production to have the viewer identify, realistically, with the protagonists. Since that connection cannot be established, the visual presence lost on the remake further digs its own grave. There’s a sense of showmanship in the original. A sense of shock. The children in the remake are emotionless and vicious, but they do not brood. The children of Come Out and Play do not feel like a small collection of miniature evils amassing as a horde. The production value alone ensures Who Can Kill a Child? will be the better movie. The low budget sensibilities of Euro-shock, shot on film and wearing its 1978 “badge of cool” well, Who Can Kill a Child? is a movie that came about during a period of “if you can’t make a great film, shock em into the seats”. It shocks. Come and Out Play simply dilutes the shock.
For Makinov’s first outing as a filmmaker he has chose to remake a cult classic. I’m afraid it was a poor decision. That is not to say the film was shot poorly or does not tell a narrative. Makinov doesn’t make me care. Combine that with my strong personal feelings about the source material compared to the new work that mimics but does not surpass or even equivocate the product of the original and I am uninterested. This may find an audience with folks who are unfamiliar with the original film, who enjoy horror that is built around children and don’t mind snail slow burn. Fans of late 70’s shock cinema need not apply as they will only seek to rip this apart; less forgiving than I have been.-Dr. TERROR www.docterror.com