Friday, March 17, 2017

Day 137: Carnage Park

Mickey Keating has made a splash in the indie horror scene over the past couple of years. I first saw his movie Darling, which I thought was a little derivative and pretentious. Then I saw Carnage Park, which I enjoyed but others around me hated. On my own, I sought out his movie Pod, which I think is pretty great but I am unsure what others would think. So, as always, your mileage may vary.

The movie starts pretty grindhouse cool with a guy named Scorpion Joe and his buddy, Lenny, robbing a small bank. There are lots of freeze frames and graphics introducing the characters. It all has a very 70s vibe and works well as homage. After the guys take a customer named Vivian hostage (Keating's apparent muse, Ashley Bell), they wander into private desert property where Lenny succumbs to injuries obtained at the robbery. Scorpion Joe and Vivian then run afoul of the land owner and the real horror begins.

(SPOILER WARNING) I will say, I was a little disappointed in the build-up of Joe as a character only to have him dispatched very early in the movie. The whole first half hour seems to be a fake out since the real meat of the movie is Vivian versus Wyatt, a crazed Pat Healy. (END SPOILERS) Healy does a great job as the nutcase who has turned his property into hunting grounds. There is plenty of evidence of past visitors and where they made their stands. If there is a complaint I have about the premise, it is that there is so much potential in the set-up that never really pays off. I expected more traps or clever tableaus from Wyatt but he pretty much only has two tricks up his sleeve.

Overall, this is a solid survival horror movie. The performance are strong and the set design is creepy. Like I said, the biggest disappointment to me was wasted potential. My friends who saw it with me found it very boring and borderline irredeemable as entertainment. Let me know what you think if you see it.

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