Henry: Portrait of the Serial Killer director John McNaughton is in charge of this slow-burning thriller starring Samantha Morton and Michael Shannon.
From the look of the posters and the DVD cover, one might expect this to be a spooky horror flick, but it’s not really that at all. In fact, this film is more of a psychological thriller, and like most within the genre, it’s pretty much a slow-burner and some might get impatient with it. However, the film does some interesting intertwining between the two families, showing how they contrast from one another and the maelstrom of chaos that starts to unravel as the film goes on.
The star of this movie is the ever-brilliant Samantha Morton, who perfectly captures the perfect balance of sweet yet tired and “Annie Wilkes-like” domineering. Morton is one of those the performers whose name in the credits of a movie means you know there’s going to be something worth watching, no matter if it’s good (Enduring Love and Control) or bad (Mister Lonely and John Carter), and this film reminds why the mercurial Samantha Morton deserves to be recognised as one of the best actresses out there.
Even though the film is a straight-up thriller, it does touch upon the themes of deep friendship, how far anyone would go for a loved one, and making sacrifices for the better. Some of those themes are handled efficiently, even though the drama drags down occasionally to the point where the film starts to lose some of its spark. John McNaughton has had an interesting career as a director and while his directing style adds some much needed intensity, it’s easy to see why this has ended up as a straight-to-DVD film in the end.
Can’t Come Out To Play is definitely not a terrible film by any means, but with it being a slow-burner, it can be tiresome for some. Yet, it is worth it mostly for the performances, and especially Samantha Morton who has never put a foot wrong and is worth going the extra mile for.