Based on a novel by Juan José Plans and the Spanish film Who Can Kill a Child?, made from the novel in 1976, Come Out and Play takes another swing at the material. I’m not familiar with those works, but if you’ve seen Village of the Damned or Children of the Corn, you’ll find yourself in recognizable territory. The film tells the story of a married couple who take a boat out to a small island to escape the carnival revelry in the Mexican town where they are vacationing. Upon their arrival, they find only noncommunicative children and no adults. They think it weird, but, obviously, they have not seen the aforementioned films, because they stick around long past the time they should have departed.
In his debut feature, the one-named writer/director Makinov shows a masterful hand over this routine material. He doles out menace and dread at a steady pace that keeps the viewer interested in how this particular couple is going to deal with the familiar film predicament of a cluster of children who murder their elders for mysterious reasons. The two central performances lend the eerie film a naturalistic flavor, and the camerawork is crisp and precise. Come Out and Play is a good example of how to eke out film thrills with a minimum of elements. Makinov should prove to be a filmmaker to watch.