Grindhouse inspired flick from the director of Darling.
Mickey Keating’s slick style is present in the film from the first frame to the last. Coupled with excellent music choices, the film is a visual treat for the viewer. Carnage Park is a journey of bizarre sights and sounds as we follow a terrified Vivian(played by Ashley Bell) , whose day just can’t get any worse.
The acting is fantastic—though the story does have its faults. After the opening vignette, the film gives a loving callback to Reservoir Dogs’ opening car scene. What begins as a heist caper (following the immensely likable Scorpion Joe played by James Landry Herbert) turns into a survival-horror film. The shift in genre creates a fun and terrifying atmosphere, but it also leaves the themes of the film unexplored. For anyone looking for a bloody (and I mean bloody) good time, Carnage Park will fulfill these needs.
The true show stealers are Vivian and Wyatt (played by Pat Healy). Wyatt’s pure psychopathy and wrath are both frightening and entertaining. Despite little screen time, he does an excellent job. Why he chooses to ruthlessly hunt victims on his property isn’t explored, and I prefer it this way. Allowing a sense of mystery surrounding the events lets the audience enjoy the movie in a more visceral way.
Ashley Bell is likewise excellent. Given few lines in the film she must communicate non-verbally. Her facial expressions tell the story in a more compelling way than cheap and forced dialogue could. Mickey Keating should be praised for not overwriting his films. He allows the tension and drama to manifest organically—something many horror film directors should pay attention to when they begin development.
Carnage Park lacks the shocking and powerful effectiveness of Darling, but it is certainly not a bad film. Repeat viewings may diminish the value (aside from the quality of acting), but for a tense film, I think this one will not disappoint. 8.5/10