Monday, November 28, 2016

Carnage Park

Director - Mickey Keating (Ritual, Darling)
Starring - Ashley Ball (The Last Exorcism, The Walking Dead: Webisodes), Pat Healy (Tales of Halloween, Captain America: The Winter Soldier), James Landry Hebert (Super 8, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night)
Release Date - 2016
Genre - Horror/Exploitation
Tagline - "Out here, god don't pick no favorites"
Format - BluRay (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     I sometimes refer to myself as the horror skeptic.  Not that I'm skeptical of horror but I'm skeptical of what a mass majority of horror fans like.  When I see a large number of people praising a film I get a little excited.  I love watching movies that are entertaining so when a large number of people claim a movie is good it means I have another opportunity to watch an entertaining film.  Sadly. most of the time these movies are let downs or just down right shitty.  That brings me to one of Scream Factory's newest releases.  I saw several horror minded friends on Facebook share their love for Carnage Park.  It looked interesting so I reached out to my friends over at Scream Factory and they were kind enough to hook me up with a review copy.  Thanks guys.
     The film follows two small time bank robbers who botch a job and one of them is shot.  They kidnap a young woman from the bank and flee into the desert with their hostage.  They drive through a chain blocking the road and hide in the desert where the one that was shot dies.  What they don't know is that they are now trespassing on the property of a deranged survivalist who tortures and kills everyone that finds their way onto his land.  They must now fight an expert sniper in a land that he knows in and out.
     Carnage Park looked interesting enough but I was skeptical.  Like I said earlier, when most of the crowd goes one way I often find myself going the opposite direction.  However, Carnage Park hit like it should.  No, it wont be in my top five or even top ten for the year but it was entertaining.  The acting in this one is absolutely fantastic.  The entire cast was at the top of their game.  Ashley Ball is great as the victim.  I know this is clich├ęd and slightly sexist but she plays one of the best victims/final girls I have ever seen.  She pulls in raw emotion and really makes the viewer feel for her.  Opposite of her we have Pat Healy who is very testing.  He pushes the boundaries of what we think a homicidal maniac should look like.  His ex-militant survivalist character is very well spoken and mild mannered which is opposite of what most movies would portray such a character as.  He is deadly, calculating, and straight up chilling.  Supporting these two is James Landry Hebert who tricks the viewer into thinking he is the films true villain.  His character is simple but has that southern style that makes Devil's Rejects so much fun.  The film has an outstanding cast.  The story for this one is a little uneven.  The film starts out like a love letter to Tarantino with the witty dialogue and sharp start to the story but by the halfway point this has faded and we get a game of cat and mouse.  The film has a strong start but the middle drags before the story is able to gain more momentum and finish on a high note.  A little something added to the middle of the film to make it engaging would have went a long way with this one.  Finally, the film has some solid kills and great practical effects.  We get a head explosion and the aftermath along with some more kills.  The film, believe it or not, is not a blood bath.  Instead, it milks the few kills we get but offers up a lot of character.  Overall, Carnage Park is a solid entry for indie horror.  It has some tension, great kills, and a story with heart.  It is well worth the watch so check it out.

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