Ebon Moss-Bachrach

cr come out and play

Horror remakes get a bad rap, often sight unseen, and while the premature concern is usually proved correct it’s not entirely uncommon for a good one to slip on through. Okay fine, it’s pretty damn uncommon, but it does happen once in a while and you need look no further than… the upcoming Evil Dead reboot to see a solid example of a film that takes the (very) basic story from the original and then makes it into something new. But that’s the exception as usually the remakes capture plot details while forgetting to infuse their film with life of its own. Come Out and Play falls into this latter category as it remakes (the far better titled) Who Can Kill a Child? but replaces that film’s grimy charm with somewhat slick and by-the-numbers thrills.

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Makinov

Modern horror movies have made a ton of money working off the assumption that little kids are creepy. What would happen, then, if an entire town’s worth of the little shits suddenly became murderous and started attacking respectable, fully-grown folk in their own homes? This is the question that Come Out and Play, the new horror film from the mysterious and masked director known only as Makinov, asks and explores. The basic story here is that a young married couple played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Vinessa Shaw travel by boat to a beautiful and secluded island, only to find that something has gone terribly wrong with the small town on said island once they get there. The streets are deserted, other than a creepy little kid or two peeking around a corner every once in a while, and no one seems to be in charge of anything. Answers finally come when they see a pack of unruly adolescents hogtie a person and smash their head with a rock. Yikes.

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Jack Reynor

What is Casting Couch? It’s a casting roundup that’s knee deep in nostalgia as it reports on movies based on comic books and toys from its childhood. Due to a little bit of inspiration from the Internet, Michael Bay gave Mark Wahlberg a pretty big part in his upcoming fourth Transformers movie. It’s always been understood that Wahlberg was playing a placeholder character though, who would pass the franchise off to a couple of young kids who would be pushed into the forefront as it went forward. Well, today Bay announced that he’s found the male half of this new duo. Apparently little known Irish actor Jack Reynor is his guy. Bay says that he saw Reynor in an Irish movie called What Richard Did, which a quick Googling tells me has nothing to do with acting opposite giant robots, so let’s all hope he knows what he’s talking about.

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Everybody loves a nice vacation, but it can be difficult for parents, especially new parents, to make time for a quiet getaway. Understanding this problem, soon-to-be parents Beth and Francis take one last trip together before their baby is born. While traveling abroad, they are made aware of a remote island said to be among the most beautiful in the world. Upon arrival, they note the mysterious absence of any citizenry above the age of twelve. As they search for an adult, any adult, the reason for the island’s occupation by unsupervised children becomes horrifically clear. Then there’s the screaming. And the the running. Let us immediately dispense with the obvious: kids are fucking terrifying; we all know that. There are few subsets of the horror genre as fundamentally unsettling as the killer kid movie. And these are not your average tykes; their inclination toward savagery rivals the very worst of their grownup counterparts. Horror films, for better or worse, and in defiance of detractors who seek to broad-stroke marginalize it, are often the most direct cinematic confrontation of our collective fears. Many titles have artfully and eloquently explored the fear of motherhood/parenthood — Rosemary’s Baby, Aliens (though admittedly more sci-fi), and 1976′s Who Can Kill a Child? Come Out and Play is in fact a remake of Who Can Kill a Child, and the fact that it hasn’t lost a step in this over-35-years-later translation speaks to the universality of that fear.

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“Being single builds character.” At least that’s what Lola Versus‘s ostensible heroine (Greta Gerwig) wants to believe as she stumbles and shuffles through life post-break-up and pre-thirtieth birthday in Daryl Wein‘s girl-on-the verge hipster rom-com, so it’s too bad that it takes her too long to form what one would call character (or even just plain old backbone). The film’s plot is simple to the point of absolute cliche – twenty-nine-year-old Lola is unexpectedly dumped by her beloved fiancee Luke (Joel Kinnaman) just weeks before their wedding, a blow that sends her into a tailspin and makes her reevaluate her entire life. Boom. The end. That’s it. Yes, you’ve seen it before and you’ve probably seen it done better. But, what Lola Versus really presupposes is that maybe you’ve also seen it done worse.

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