07th Mar2014

‘Scream Park’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Nicole Beattie, Doug Bradley, Kailey Marie Harris, Dean Jacobs, Tyler Kale, Ian Lemmon, Alicia Marie Marcucci, Carrie Lee Martz, Nivek Ogre, Kyle Riordan, Steve Rudzinski, Wendy Wygant | Written and Directed by Cary Hill


As film fans we often see independent movies that are looking for funding from the fans and we put money into them in the hope that they will move from being just an idea to a fully formed movie.  Kickstarter seemed to give small budgeted movies more of a chance, and when we see films appear stating they were funded this way, you can’t help but hope for some success.  Scream Park is such a movie and is set for DVD release in the US on April 22nd, and when watching it for review I couldn’t help but be hopeful for the movie…

The premise of Scream Park is that the Fright Land amusement park is on the verge of closing down for good.  In a desperate move to pull in customers the owner Hyde (Doug Bradley) hires two maniacs to enter the park and murder the employees who have gathered to party.

When watching Scream Park I found myself thinking that it was somewhat of a mixed bag.  With some questionable acting and a fairly basic story there are points that it did struggle and I found myself having to consider the fact that it was made on a small budget.  The mixed bag nature though is that Scream Park has moments that do redeem its weaker elements.  In acting for example while there are some forgetful characters who do tend to fall flat due to lack of development and poor acting, actors such as Nicole Beattie as Missi the main character tend to put in a more believable performance which re-captures the audience’s attention.  Then of course there are the two maniacs.

These two masked characters lacked the charisma of the monsters we are used to on the screen, they are no Freddy, Jason or Michael Myers but while for the first half of the film made them feel like they lacked any depth once we got into the meat of the movie they at least showed some personality, especially when Nivek Ogre took his mask off.  Playing a character that was obviously influenced by Bill Moseley’s Chop Top Ogre made his character feel menacing, and while we only know the basic facts of the killer the important thing for the audience is that he is obviously crazy, and in the end that is all that matters.  The other killer is basically a Leatherface style character but instead of wearing human flesh wears a sack over his head.  Tall and muscular he’s pretty much just a weapon of destruction.  I would have liked to have seen these characters more fleshed out, but for what we get they do their job, especially in the case of Nivek Ogre.

After watching Scream Park I do tend to think that this does show the success of the Kickstarter model for making movies.  With camerawork that is noticeably well done and based in a real amusement park it feels like Scream Park has used the funding it received well, but as with many low-budget horror films it does have its weaknesses.  Doug Bradley’s name may be used to gain attention to the movie, and this is a good thing but in truth he’s only in the movie for a few minutes.  While he is though keep an eye on the objects on his desk, there’s a certain box that horror fans will recognise straight away.  A nice attempt with a mix of results, I like to think that for the most part Scream Park has more positives than negatives for a low-budget horror movie more importantly though it’s a successful debut for writer director Cary Hill, it’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with next.

Scream Park is released on DVD (in the US) on April 22nd, courtesy of Wild Eye Releasing.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com

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