COME PLAY (2020)
Label: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Region Code: A
Duration: 96 Minutes
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.39:1)
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, French and Spanish DTS-HD MA Digital Surround 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles
Director: Jacob Chase
Cast: Gillian Jacobs, John Gallagher Jr., Azhy Robertson, Winslow Fegley
In the supernatural app-horror entry Come Play (2020) adolescent boy Oliver (Azhy Robertson, Marriage Story) is a non-verbal kid on the autism spectrum, which makes it a bit of struggle to communicate and connect with his family and friends. He is able to communicate through a symbol-to-speech app on his smartphone, but it is through the smartphone that lonely Oliver discovers a new app called Misunderstood Monsters. The app tells the story of a lonely monster named "Larry", who is misunderstood and only looking for friend. Oliver notices that when he is on the Misunderstood Monsters app that the lights in his room flicker, that it seems to be more than just an app. Oliver begins to grow fearful of the app and the creature that seemingly lurks within it. He is not wrong, Larry is trying to use the app as a conduit to break free of his screen-world and into ours in an effort to befriend the kid and steal him away.
Not too surprisingly Oliver’s parents, Sarah (Gilliam Jacobs, Bad Milo!) and Marty (John Gallagher Jr., Underwater), do not at first believe him when he tries to warn them about the app-monster Larry. However, when the entity makes it's presence known at an awkward sleepover with bullying friends the struggling couple come to realize the app-monster is real, and they will have to fight to save their son from the friend-seeking creature.
I thought the main cast in this flick were pretty great, especially young actor Azhy Robertson whose facial expressions and physical acting manage to say a lot even without verbally being able to communicate it, other than with the assistance of the speech app. My favorite parts of the story are when it is Oliver himself, or with a group of kids, having to confront by Larry, and I sort of wish we got to see more of the kids on their own against the entity, which is when the threat feels the most potent, those are the bits that pulled me into the story. The parental stuff was less effective for me but I still think the actors do a fine job. Overall I though the flick was a decent scary flick for early teens, but for a jaded horror fan like myself it was only a decent time waster on a Monday night, a classic one and done.
Audio/Video: Come Play (2020) arrives on Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment framed in 2.39:1 widescreen in 1080p HD. The digital shot films, lensed by Maxime Alexandre (Crawl, High Tension) looks quite good in HD, the subdued colors are well saturated and there's a pleasing amount of fine detail in the close-ups. We also get some solid detail in the darker scenes, of which there are many. The audio comes by way of English DTS-HD MA 5.1 with optional English subtitles, the surround has some creepily effective use of the surrounds and the score from Spanish composer Roque Baños (Evil Dead, Don't Breathe) has some nice placement in the surround mix as well.
There are zero extras on the Blu-ray, not even a trailer, and I was hoping they would include the original short film that it is based on, "Larry", but no dice. The single-disc release arrives in a standard keepcase with a single-sided sleeve of artwork. We also get a slipcover with the same artwork with an embossed logo on the front cover and spine. Inside you will find a Movies Anywhere digital code for a digital copy of the film.
Come Play (2020) is a creepy but standard-issue PG-13 fright film aimed an early teen audience, the ones who come out in droves for the Blumhouse stuff, with no disrespect to Blumhouse, I like plenty of their films. The flick combines elements of the Slender Man story with some app-horror tropes like augmented-reality thrown in, but it was all a bit too familiar and nothing to get too excited about. If you're introducing some inexperienced kids to horror and don't to scar them with something like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Evil Dead 2 this would be a safe bet, but if you're a well-versed horror fan looking for a solid chiller this might taste a bit bland.
More screenshots from the Blu-ray: