Come Play

Come Play is sort of an unofficial sequel to The Babadook, or maybe the final entry in a trilogy of The Babadook and Lights Out! as expanded short viral horror films, or perhaps just the 746th entry in the Damn, CGI, You Scary franchise that began with Insidious back in 2010. Come Play is also no disappointment as the first decent major-studio creature feature to hit big screens since a flood of cheap horror product escaped the streaming sewers and oozed onto the big screens during this year’s pandemic. The reliable script still follows a proper template for this kind of production, as an autistic boy with troubled parents finds himself stalked by a creepy monster who gets closer with every page turned in a story told on electronic devices. You can predict the exact point where the father is taken out of the picture to leave the mother forced to fight for her child. Things get less consistent in how the film handles the rules of engagement for creepy “Larry.” The movie can’t even commit to the lead creature’s malevolence, but at least horror fans are spared having to waste time waiting for the grown-ups to start believing the kid. Don’t worry about a happy ending with a sweet monster, either. There’s some meaningful subtext to be found, too, with adults set to be appalled by the seductive allure of Larry declaring, “Your parents want you to be normal. I just want to be your friend.”