Central Park (2017)

During a financial scandal that has put one teen’s father in jail, a group of mega rich teens go to Central Park one night to get drunk, get high, hook up, and relax. As one can expect from a slasher film, these are exactly the things that set off their killer.

Written and directed by Justin Reinsilber, Central Park takes the usual backwoods setting for many slasher films and moves it to New York City, setting it in the only wooded area most people would associate with the city, and drops a half a dozen teenagers in the middle of it at night. There are a few new(er) ideas here, but overall, it’s a slasher that follows a lot of the tropes, only with a cast of rich kids. They attitudes and ways make them possibly the least likable characters, so rooting for any of them to make it is pretty difficult. This leads to feeling like there are less stakes in the story which can in turn lead to not really caring about what happens to them besides wanting to see the slasher fodder get offed in interesting ways. Which the film doesn’t offer much of. For those who watch a lot of horror films, the kills will be fairly familiar and the lead up to them won’t be all that suspenseful. However, for the more casual viewers, there may be a few surprises.

The cast of teens is a bit predictable with a few rare surprises thrown in. Their performances are on the lower end of decent slashers and they do what they can here, but sometimes they look just completely bored or uninterested which doesn’t help sell the film. When the fear factor is push up a bit, some of them come up on top, but unfortunately not by enough to be memorable.

Technically, the film is shot and edited on part with some higher budget horror films. It has some special effects, but a lot less than one would expect in a slasher. That being said, what is there is decent and not all kills need to be on screen or super bloody.

With slasher films like Central Park, either a great story, great acting fantastic kills, or something else of high interest needs to be involved to keep the attention. Here, not much of that happens. The film meanders through cliches and has less kills than one would want, something frustrating when one knows that not all kills need to be gruesome to make an impact on the viewer. Another way to go with slashers when the above is not there, is to go the entirely opposite way and go full on camp and stick to it. Neither of these are here. The film feels a bit bland with an uninterested cast which leads the viewer to loose interest more than once as the proceedings go on.