Tuesday, March 11, 2014

DVD Review: SCREAM PARK (2014)

Region: 0 NTSC
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 96 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 
Video: Anamorprhic Widescreen 
Director: Cary Hill
Cast: Doug Bradley, Nivek Ogre, Nicole Beattie, Kailey Marie Harris,

Scream Park (2014) is a low-budget slasher set at the Fright Land amusement park that's about to go belly-up due to poor ticket sales. We have a lot of the classic slasher tropes in place beginning with horny teens drinking and fucking and a semi-virginal final girl among the staff. On this night we have the teen staff and the creepy park manager in the process of shutting down the park when two masked maniacs arrive on scene and soon enough the blood begins to flow. 

The cast is a bit awkward but they do a decent job with the typical stereotypes you've come to expect from a slasher. We have the usual array of young ladies, a douche-nozzle jock, the dork and a punk-rocker straight outta Return of the Living Dead plus guest appearances from Doug Bradley (Hellraiser) and Ogre from the band Skinny Puppy. I never expect much from Bradley outside of his work as Pinhead and his his appearance is mercifully brief. Ogre has a more substantial role as one of the masked-killers and is quite a nasty piece of work who at one point bemuses how he enjoys it when victims struggle as it tightens-up a certain part of their anatomy. 

Of course we get some sex and nudity which I think is an absolute must with a slasher as are the death scenes, so let's talk about the kills. Unfortunately they are not fantastic, you can definitely feel the lack of a budget in the kill department. There's a decent amount of blood but not a lot of gore and the slashed throat scene is pretty awful. A few of the other deaths fare a bit better including a fun deep-fryer death, an ax to the skull and a disemboweling on the roller coaster but overall the deaths are just not spectacular.

A few stiff performances and lackluster deaths however do not completely destroy the slasher fun. Scream Park has some decent atmosphere and a great main theme. Having access to an actual amusement park adds a lot of production value to the film and there's some decent lighting throughout but you can see the low-budget struggles show up onscreen from time to time in addition to some audio issues but none of it destroys the film, the passion shines through with a decent story, setting and finale. 

If you can see past some of the budget shortcomings there's a lot to enjoy with Scream Park (2014), a micro-budgeted indie slasher with a vibe that channels The Funhouse (1981) by way of Intruder (1989). 3 Outta 5