Scream Park (2014) – By Misty Layne

"The Fright Land amusement park is on the verge of closing its doors forever. But the park’s owner, Hyde, has one last plan to sell more tickets…murder. Hiring two backwoods maniacs to break into the park and hack and slash all his employees, Hyde thinks these killings will create a media sensation, but he has just unleashed a horror that no one can survive." So reads the blurb for Scream Park and, while accurate, it unfortunately makes the film sound better than it really is.

The Fright Land amusement park is a small amusement park, on scale with the fair that comes through your hometown once or twice a year and is dedicated solely to horror. When the group of teens and twenty-somethings that run the rides and games find out that the park is about to close, they decide to have one last hurrah by throwing a little after hours bash, even if the park manager is highly against the idea. One of the girl’s non-amusement park boyfriends brings some alcohol over and the party starts swinging…okay, not really because Mr. Stick Up His Ass park manager keeps turning the music down and trying to get people not to drink. But teens being teens, the group manages to ignore him for the most part. So really the only problem they have at this point is that one of the guys who works in the park hasn’t been seen in hours, though his car is still there – so where exactly has he disappeared to? Well, dude’s somewhat girlfriend and the park manager go out to try to find him and slowly the main group starts to split up to go makeout or smoke weed or whatever and that’s when things get bad for them.

So is this when it gets fun for us, the viewers? Alas, no. While the movie isn’t completely hopeless, it isn’t the least bit scary and has very little gore. The kills are spread throughout the second act which is good as there are way too many horror films that go for the "everyone dies in the last 20 minutes" method. The majority of the acting is only so-so with no real stand outs and the cinematography is disappointing in that you get to see very little of the actual amusement park (which in my opinion would’ve made the movie much creepier – amusement parks abandoned at night are super creepy). I didn’t care enough about any of the characters to go "yay!" or "boo!" when they died and only a couple of the characters are even partially fleshed out. There was one girl, a kind of goth girl, who had maybe 10 minutes of screen time – I knew virtually nothing about her and could’ve cared less that she’d gotten killed other than the fact that she had a wicked sense of fashion.

And there you have it – this is another run of the mill, young people running away from hillbilly killers only to walk into stupid situations horror movie that attempts to be a throwback to the 80s but just comes off as only partially completed. And the idea of a park owner planning on killing his staff to get attention for his park and to make money off souvenirs and murder related rides? I just kept thinking that I’d heard or read that plot somewhere before, maybe in a Sweet Valley High book or something.

I can only recommend this for the casual slasher film viewer, not for the hardcore horror hounds, but if you’d like to learn more about Scream Park, visit their Facebook page or Twitter for more information.