I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!
These famous words were repeated over and over by villains in Scooby Doo, Where are You? at the end of almost every episode. After dressing up as some supernatural being and terrorizing the masses, Scooby and Mystery, Inc. would unmask the villain and reveal his/her true intentions.
I thought for sure that somebody would utter that sentence during Scream Park (coming this spring) as the premise seems like an episode of Scooby Doo, but, alas…
Instead, I was treated to an 80s throwback slasher movie featuring a Strangers-like setup, a cameo from a horror great, and teenagers being slaughtered.
Scream Park is about an old, run down amusement park in Pennsylvania. It’s attendance is down, and has been going steadily down for years. It’s late in the summer, and the park has filed bankruptcy. This will be the final year.
Missi (Nicole Beattie) works at one of the games in the park, and seems to be very down to earth. Her friends Carlee and Allison (Kailey Marie Harris and Alicia Marie Marucci) are boy crazy, and tease Missi for only going “all the way” once with Blake (the boy Missi has been “dating” all summer). At their usual end of the night meeting, the friends (and their boyfriends) convince the manager Marty (Steve Rudzinski) to let them stay there and drink after hours.
Unfortunately, nobody has noticed the creepy van that has snuck into the parking lot.
Soon, 2 masked sociopaths begin hunting down and murdering the gang. They make good use of the park features, and we see many of its rides and booths used in creepy fashion.
Scream Park was a good watch for me as I love amusement park horror. The killers use the rides effectively (one causing an awesome splash zone effect that had me laughing) and use the park’s technology (or lack thereof) against their prey. The kills were good, and I loved the Strangers set up to the movie. When these guys are first introduced, they don’t say a word: They just get to work.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into the killers. The first one (Ogre) looks like Jason from Friday the 13th Part 2 (He also appears on the poster.) with a potato sack on his head. This is a great look, but he is underutilized and all muscle. However, the other killer is a different story. Iggy (Nivek Ogre of the band Skinny Puppy) wears this white, long nose, mosquito looking thing that reminded me of Spy Vs. Spy. Nivek does fine with the role, and he ditches the mask about halfway through the movie.
There is also a cameo by Hellraiser’s Doug Bradley that is delivered in a fashion that only Bradley could do.
The biggest weakness to Scream Park is that it wants to be an 80s throwback movie (which I’m fine with). It looks like an 80s film. The characters dress like it’s an 80s films. It feels like an 80s film. However, around the middle of the film, the characters start looking for or pulling out their cell phones (which is funny as well as 2 of these teenagers have old flip phones). One of my biggest complaints to 2013’s Carrie is that the story is 40 years old, and it wasn’t updated hardly at all to fit today’s technological improvements (and when it was, it didn’t quite fit). That’s what it felt like here.
Scream Park is worth a watch if you are into 80s slasher films. It has an authentic look and feel to it, and stars a creepy old amusement park to boot. You also get a horror movie great, an influential musician, and gore. What more could you ask for?