Fright Land amusement park is closing due to diminishing attendance. Scream Park opens with suitably midway carnival sounding music. It kind of sounds like a slow tempo Richard Band Re-Animator theme which works well for the amusement park setting. The soundtrack and the score are both bad to the ass. Great timing great music. The score is full of slightly off kilter creepy carnival tunes.
I love small regional theme parks and amusement parks; not the big Six Flags or Kings Island sanitized corporate shit. I’m talking about the cheesy games in the beat up wagon or midway booth and the rickety “oh fuck this ride may kill me” kind of roller coasters and haunted house amusement parks. Not enough of those left-like everything else good we leave it behind like a sideshow. Sideshows were fucking awesome. But I digress…
The location is an honest to goodness operational regional theme park. Conneaut Lake Park has been in business in one incarnation or another since 1892…one hundred and twenty friggin’ years. I have got to check the place out but once again I digress…
So anyway…Fright Land is closing due to dropping attendance. Do yourself a favor and DO NOT READ THE IMDB SYNOPSIS BECAUSE IT SPOILS SHIT! You have been warned. In an attempt to provide a spoiler free synopsis I offer the following: It is the last night of operation for Fright Land and the crew decides to have a little shindig to celebrate the end of the park. However the party quickly turns into a fight or flight for survival as someone stalks and kills them one by one (Boom, not much in the way of spoiler there). The flick has some decent jump scares that are really just that yet they work. The introduction of the killers is amazingly unnerving. I always get more creeped out when the victims first notice the killer without the killer being aware-something about that is just menacing. It takes awhile for the first kill but hey its a theme park! There’s fun stuff going on that keeps you interested. And once the kills start look out. The pacing is top notch and doesn’t let up until the credits.
SCREAM PARK excels visually. It is very well shot and the colors are vibrant and varying as should be expected with an amusement park theme. The effects are all practical and well done. The kills are all pretty awesome. Arvin Clay and company acquit themselves admirably bringing the gore. The costumes are great. Ubiquitous work coveralls but the real piece de resistance is the plague doctor mask. Those things scare the ever living shit out of me.
The acting is a mixed bag. There are two severe miscasts that have awful talky parts for being unable to act. That would be Carlee (Kailey Marie Harris) and Rhodie (Tyler Kale). Neither are actors, one is a model and the other a musician, so the fault lies not so much with them but with casting. Everyone else gives passable to good performances. There are two notable names in the flick Nivek Ogre from Skinny Puppy and Doug Bradley who some of you may have heard of a time or two. One gaffe or gag (not sure which) is when the boss man is trying to find a key to unlock a door that clearly doesn’t need a key. It shouldn’t be a big deal and normally wouldn’t have jarred me out of the flick except it was used to build tension and I thought “turn the fuckin’ knob…”
Unfortunately I find myself harping on the same thing in most indie productions. The only real place SCREAM PARK falls flat is with the sound mixing. The syncing is spotty and the dialogue cuts in and out harshly with some of the actors sounding like they are reading their lines in a bathroom. In some places the dubbing sounds a bit canned. Especially egregious is Marty’s dialogue. It sounds a touch tinny. Odd because the score and music sound so good. Allow me to take a moment here and rave about the closing credit tune The Wrists by The Razorblade Dolls. It is one of the most badass tunes I’ve had the pleasure of hearing in a long while!
Cary Hill has put together a fun slasher that is a pretty decent throwback to the genre’s hay days. If you love slasher flicks check it out. If you like theme parks check it out. If you like slashers and theme parks…check it out! You can find them in cyber space at http://www.screamparkmovie.com.