Indie horror flicks always seem to fall victim to the same restraints; little to no money leaves the filmmakers no choice but to cast amateur actors, cheap effects teams, and overall mediocre filming equipment. Like most of the pack, Cary Hill’s independent slasher film, Scream Park, is greatly hindered by these same restrictions.
Even though it seems I always give this low-budget films negative reviews, I really don’t want to. It’s actually very taxing to have to write badly about a young filmmaker’s project because, quite frankly, it makes me feel really bad. While Scream Park is riddled with poor acting, bad effects, and shoddy editing, it does have its best intentions at heart. Thus, delivering some redeeming factors.
Fright Land is closing its doors, as the local amusement park isn’t bringing in enough money to keep open any longer. On the final night of operation, the young group of workers decide to live it up and have a party on park grounds. It doesn’t take long for them to notice that someone is knocking them all off one by one. Who are the masked men that are terrorizing them and why are they doing this?
I already mentioned the crappy acting, but not all of the performances were terrible. Doug Bradley (Hellraiser) makes a very brief appearance as Mr. Hyde, the park owner. While it is safe to say that Bradley performed the greatest out of the entire cast, it isn’t saying much considering his entire role only lasted about 90 seconds on-screen. As a close second in the race for best performance is Nivek Ogre (from the band Skinny Puppy), as one of the two masked men, killing off the young park crew. He has some great lines and if you’ve seen him in Repo! The Genetic Opera, you know he is quite a good actor, in general.
One actor I did not recognize, however, also managed to do a rather nice job with her role as Missi. Nicole Beattie pulls off the good girl image rather well and sticks out above the rest of the cast seen throughout the film. I feel that if the budget for this movie was a bit higher and everything else was brought up to par, her character would have been even better and given more of an opportunity to shine.
Scream Park is not my favorite indie film out there, but I do respect its effort. It’s a shame that certain projects don’t get the funding they need, but it is the nature of the business, I suppose. If you are looking for another indie slasher to watch with some buddies one night, give Cary Hill’s Scream Park a try. It is officially being released by Wild Eye Releasing and MVD on April 22.
I give this film 2 roller coasters out of 5.