An autistic boy faces the monster beyond the screen in the new trailer for the horror film Come Play. As devices like cell phones, tablets and PCs have become more and more ubiquitous in modern life, horror filmmakers have naturally looked for ways of mining this emerging super-connected reality for new and novel means of terrifying their audiences.
The early ’00s indeed saw the first major wave of such tech-centered horror films with movies like One Missed Call, about people getting ominous voice mails from their future selves, and Pulse, about a hacker unleashing evil on the earth after accidentally tapping the wrong wireless signal. Later, screens took on another role in horror films with movies like Unfriended, Friend Request and Searching, which began delving into the terrifying possibilities opened up by today’s obsession with social media. Of course, the recent Child’s Play reboot also came up with its own somewhat satirical take on the dangers of technology, with its re-imagining of classic horror character Chucky as a glitchy high-tech toy.
Now, writer-director Jacob Chase has dreamed up yet another new twist on the evil device horror angle. In Come Play, an autistic boy named Oliver spends all his time connecting with people on his ever-present devices, until something unspeakable begins terrorizing him from the other side. See the Come Play trailer in the space below along with a one-sheet poster (via Focus Features):
The full synopsis for Come Play reads:
Newcomer Azhy Robertson stars as Oliver, a lonely young boy who feels different from everyone else. Desperate for a friend, he seeks solace and refuge in his ever-present cell phone and tablet. When a mysterious creature uses Oliver’s devices against him to break into our world, Oliver’s parents (Gillian Jacobs and John Gallagher Jr.) must fight to save their son from the monster beyond the screen.
Given that Come Play is an Amblin Partners co-production, it’s perhaps no surprise to see some imagery in the trailer that recalls classic Amblin Entertainment movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Poltergeist. The Poltergeist connection is of course the strongest of all, as Come Play also deals with a child being menaced by something that lives beyond a screen, and his parents trying to protect him from this mysterious evil. Obviously, in Poltergeist the terror lurked beyond the TV (and in a scary clown), but nowadays it’s the small screens that are the most prevalent in kids’ lives and therefore most likely to hide something terrifying. The mother-and-child dynamic appears to be especially strong in Come Play, which of course recalls classic horror movies like The Ring and The Babadook, not to mention A Quiet Place.
Indeed, the echoes of prior horror movies are strong in Come Play, at least going by the trailer. It remains to be seen if the movie delivers something that builds upon all these classic horror tropes in an interesting and satisfying way, or if the movie simply conjures up those familiar terrors without adding anything especially new to the mix.
Come Play opens in theaters on October 30, 2020.
Source: Focus Features