Genre: Action, Drama, Horror
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 20m
Director(s): Shal Ngo
Writer(s): Shal Ngo
Cast: Carli McIntyre, Laura Coover, Billy Slaughter, Chloe Guidry, Carmina Garay, Presley Richardson, Sean Papajohn, Evan Soto, Nhedrick Jabier, Legend Jay Jones, Makaila Faith Nixon
Where To Watch: arrives on U.S. VOD on March 2, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: Join me in the world of Shal Ngo's directorial debut, THE PARK. This post-apocalyptic thriller brings us to a world without adults, where young children must fight to control an abandoned amusement park. Shot on location at the abandoned Six Flags New Orleans theme park.
This film emphasizes that a younger generation will inherit the world ruined by adults and doesn’t shy away from that theme. THE PARK follows friends on a mission to find the vaccine to save the remaining children from a mysterious virus. The virus in the movie represents the consequences of adults' actions. Its timely theme strikes a chord with many young people who are increasingly worried about the future of our planet and the responsibility they'll inherit. It also mirrors the fact that a large swath of “adults” seem to care less about things that will ultimately change the world in the future.
In THE PARK, the end of childhood and the start of puberty is quite literally a race against time. However, there are some questions left unanswered after that revelation. Although the film explores exciting concepts, the overall experience lacks that real wow factor, especially when it comes to some of the “performances” in the movie.
The setting of the abandoned amusement park provides a visually stunning backdrop; the natural aspect of the post-apocalyptic world instead of a CGI playground adds a sense of grounded realism to the film. Ultimately I would have liked to have seen more of this world; I’m sure there were countless guidelines and restrictions put on the cast and crew, so it's understandable, but I think we see this “giant” world but only explore a small portion of it.
In conclusion, THE PARK is a unique film that explores relevant themes and creates an intriguing world that could have been further developed. Although it has some flaws, it’s still a fun ride worth taking.
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[photo courtesy of XYZ FILMS]