Come Play is a horror movie that utilizes atmosphere and suspense. With effective performances at its center instead of cheap thrills or idiotic characters, this film works well even if it’s not really memorable.
The movie focuses on an autistic boy named Oliver (Azhy Robertson) who can only communicate with a cell phone. His parents (Gillian Jacobs and John Gallagher Jr.) are trying to get Oliver to become more social, but their efforts prove to be less than successful as Oliver is bullied by other kids.
Oliver has a scary story downloaded into his phone and it tells about a monster named Larry who communicates with Oliver and tells him that he wants to be his friend.
Soon Larry takes on a life his own which manifests through multiple electronic devices. Oliver does his best to let others know, but as usual, no one takes him seriously.
On the surface, Come Play checks off the boxes of this kind of movie such as the aforementioned reasons about the parents and others not believing the kid in order to advance the story.
What makes it work is the commitment of the actors to their performances as well as a genuine atmosphere that doesn’t call attention to itself. As a result, the actors are able to easily inhabit the atmosphere.
Come Play should’ve spent more time on constructing a story with fewer cliches and more on crafting ways that would make it feel elevated, but it’s solid entertainment that knows what it is.