Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Scream Park (2012)

(Online Screener Copy)

Directed by Cary Hill

Written by Cary Hill 

Stars: Doug Bradley, Kevin 'Ogre' Ogilvie, Nicole Beattie, Dean Jacobs, Wendy Wygant, and Steve Rudzinski

After recently interviewing filmmaker Cary Hill (HERE) I was delighted to get the chance to screen upcoming indie slasher Scream Park for review. Described as a homage to the stalk and slash greats of the 80s I am chuffed to be able to back this statement right up. Scream Park is a tightly made, gory, funny, and creepy watch loaded with all the stuff that made slashers fun 30 years ago.

The plot of the movie is nice and simple – a failing theme-park is gearing up for its closure and manager Marty (Steve Rudzinski) is faced with delivering some pay related bad news to his staff at the end of their shift.  Said staff members are fed up with all the issues their place of work has encountered and are planning to stay behind after closing for a bit of a party! Being a slasher movie its fairly obvious that these hapless teens are going to be made to pay a high price for being so audacious and the arrival of a mysterious van sets a bloody nightmare in motion for all involved.

I found so much to enjoy in Scream Park that I am genuinely excited for fellow horror fans to see it to see what they make of it. Firstly there is the mood and atmosphere – the creepy theme park setting, particularly at night just sets the film off in the right direction. So much emphasis is made on highlighting various lit up rides and attractions that it creates an impressively eerie feeling – and that’s not just centring on the ghost house!  Secondly the killers masks – whoa. Both of them are unsettlingly scary in their own right; you have the terrifying white plague mask with the horribly elongated nose/mouth piece and then a ragged sack with crudely cut out eye and mouth holes. Seeing these two horrors firstly pull-up, hidden by their van on the parks security monitor and subsequently seeing them creeping round the place gave me a real shudder. In fact, like I said to Cary Hill – this film filled me with that dread that only the old school slasher greats such as Black Christmas, Halloween and earlier Friday 13th films used to. That’s a huge compliment to the team behind this movie because I think it’s a tone very hard to get right nowadays when fans have seen so so many slasher movies and you often feel like you have seen it all before.   Further to these there is some fun and also some horrifying gore in Scream Park. I don’t want to give the kills away but I will say there is a great scene involving hot fat and also a brutal axing, along with your usual gory slashing’s and stabbings and I felt that these were done well and with practical effects to boot.

Another plus point was the characters and the acting.  Steve Rudzinski, director and writer of fun indie slasher Everyone Must Die, has a great turn here as the put upon and stressed Park Manager Marty.  I was pleased to see Steve’s character had a decent comedic element to it as I already know that he is excellent in both comedy acting and writing. I thought Wendy Wygant was spot on as the innocent heroine ‘Jennifer’ and made for a pretty kick arse final girl in her final scenes. This girl takes a pretty horrific beating and still fights back. I found the character of Missi ( Nicole Beattie) extremely amusing; the role of acidic, sarcastic, doom and gloom is played perfectly here. I also thought that Alicia Marie Marcucci  was fun as the bitchy blonde ‘Allison’and her final scenes really are one of the films highlights – just wait and see. It is great to see our beloved pinhead (Doug Bradley) pop up towards the end in a pivotal cameo – it’s an enjoyable scene which ties the movies occurrences up in a blood stained bow and I am pleased it got to be one of horrors greats to help deliver it. Oh and the ending of the overall film is a bit of a killer ;)

As I already mentioned the film is very tightly made. It's well paced, perfectly edited and shot like a big screen release. I can't say enough how impressive the final version of Scream Park looks. Also in its favour is a brilliant and most fitting score/soundtrack.

My only very very minor complaint would be I think Scream Park may have benefited from two or three more staff members to round the group out as the park does look rather large but that's a very minor quibble.

As you can tell I highly recommend Scream Park. You must see this movie, particularly if you are a fan of the slasher greats of the later 70s/80s. Check out the movies official website and if you are in the states you will be able to grab yourself a copy of the DVD! I also know there are plans for a region 2 DVD for the near future so if you are reading from the UK then keep your eyes on the website and/or the official Facebook page. 

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