Possibly the least deserving film ever to bear in its full title a possessive director's credit, Makinov's Come Out and Play offers a wan reworking of the 1976 Spanish grindhouse shocker Who Can Kill a Child? (released in the U.S. under the less evocative title Island of the Damned), here transposed to Mexico and cast with Spanglish-speaking gringos in some ill-conceived bid for foreign-sales cachet. Now as then, the title(s) tell all: a vacationing couple (Vinessa Shaw and Ebon Moss-Bachrach) rent a boat for a day trip to a remote isle, which they find deserted save for a roving pack of possessed children who have murdered all of the adult population. The lurid premise is clearly predicated on one potential outcome—seeing some grown-up go apeshit on these prepubescent psychos—which, even for those duly intrigued, is a long time coming . . . long enough for us to ponder just how this Makinov—a masked prankster who can be found on YouTube delivering his "manifesto" from somewhere in "the Dark Forest," and who ends his film with an on-screen dedication "to the martyrs of Stalingrad"—was entrusted by anyone with an ounce of sense to direct a feature-length motion picture. Even by the standards of the genre, the characters behave with astonishing stupidity, while Makinov tries repeatedly to mine suspense from slowly creeping up on his actors with the camera. If I'd directed this bunk, I'd hide my face too.
Come Out and Play
Directed by Makinov
Opens March 22, Village East
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