Children seem to have almost limitless imaginations. Undimmed by the daily grind of life, they can create their own distinctive worlds and narratives. Even invisible friends. This expresses itself in many forms, but none more terrifyingly than in nightmares. The monster in the closet. The creature under the bed. Lurking in the shadows, just waiting to pounce. In Come Play, the new film from Jacob Chase, internet trolls are real.
Oliver (Azhy Robertson) is a lonely non-verbal autistic boy who uses a phone to communicate with other people. Lost in his own world, his parents (Gillian Jacobs and John Gallagher Jr.) are too busy with their own lives and disagreements to really do anything meaningful about it. Instead, Oliver retreats into his own bubble powered by the technology around him. However, when a creepy children’s story appears on his tablet it opens a portal to another world.
Come Play is a stylish and beautifully made horror which amplifies the anxieties and foibles of parenting to create a terrifying scenario. Chase’s film is imaginative in its use of modern technology and allusions to the dangers children face online. Whilst the relationship between the adults is underwritten and at times it does rely a bit too heavily on jump scares, Come Play is an impressive and enterprising thriller which exploits the dangers of childhood.
Come Play is released on digital download on 13 September.