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Tongue Twister

Carnage Park Review

Carnage Park follows a woman who is terrorized by various men for an hour and a half...To be more specific, she is held hostage by two men in a getaway car after a botched robbery, then must survive the onslaught of a maniac with a scoped rifle. Chaos ensues.

Carnage Park had the workings of a grindhouse original straight from the get-go, wasting no time establishing a grainy film texture, sporadic camera movements and cuts, and over-the-top characters and behavior. It plays like a live-action cartoon for the adult horror crowd with a little bit of Natural Born Killers influence sprinkled in for good measure.

The film has a surprisingly unique feel to it, though on the surface none of the film feels particularly original. The director had a goal set in mind of putting a legible chaos to the screen, and I think he succeeded on most accounts. Normally films like this, which have fractured deliveries, lack the fluidity necessary to carry a story to completion. But somehow, amidst the chaos, the director stabilizes everything enough to avoid it feeling like a nightmare you can't remember even while you're recalling it.

The over-acting was frankly too much. Every character behaved like a caricature of the norm in any given situation, and at times it was so distracting and irritating, it made the film difficult to progress through. I was convinced early one that this film was definitely a horror film and not a thriller. Not since Wolf Creek has a rifle been used to instill such horrific imagery. While such a weapon easily creates tension, for it to produce fear is truly impressive. Although, I must admit, it isn't as much the weapon of choice itself, as it is the psychotic wielder of the rifle.

The almost-satirical portrayal of the characters and plot forces the viewer to laugh perhaps more often than the director intended. Despite the chaos and violence, the cartoonish behavior disconnects you from any real sense of dread. And while I give credit to the overall product, its exotic style and feverish imbalance is a one-nighter for sure.

Horror Qualifier: 8/10

Horror Quality: 5/10

Film Quality: 4/10

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