I have only been to New York once and of course I had to hit as many of the tourist spots as I could including Times Square, Central Park, and Washington Square Park, where I had an intense and memorable encounter with a homeless person. True story. I’ll have to tell you sometime over a virtual cup of java. However, that encounter was nowhere near as life-threatening as what happens in Jinga Films’ latest release, Central Park.
Harold Smith’s father has been accused of stealing money from his company and customers. It is all over the news. So Smith turns to his friends for some stress-relief which leads the group of teens to have a late-night party in Central Park including lots of drinks and some smoking. It’s all fun until they are attacked.
Reminiscent of old style slasher films where the unsuspecting teens are targeted by an unknown: is it a human, or is it the wolfman of urban legend that the teens talk about while they are partying in the park?
I love horror movies of all flavors: supernatural, psychological, gory, etc. There is something about the slasher though that just hits the spot when you want a good scary movie to watch. So I really enjoyed how this one took the old feeling of an unknown killer stalking teenagers but brought it to current times.
Central Park was an enjoyable ride if you just wanted to see the slayings and did not want too many details or explanations of backstory. There were six teenagers who were focused on, but only one (Harold) was given a well-explained backstory. The others were hinted at (“Did you hear about his mom?” “Yeah.”) but never delved into or fully flushed out. The teenagers themselves were kind of annoying, but that could be just because I’m just in a completely different decade of my life than they are. But my not liking the characters did make watching them be attacked and killed even more enjoyable so that was a plus for this film.
There were other threads that were dropped and not woven fully into explanations either including the wolfman’s tale itself (it really just felt like a random story and not a genuine concern) and the relationship between Daniel and Willa Shaw (a teacher and his wife) and the cop Willa calls for help. But again, sometimes a horror fan just wants to watch killings without much of an explanation, so I was able to overlook these minor flaws.
If you decide to give this one a go, let me know in the comments what you think.
Written and directed by Justin Reinsilber, CENTRAL PARK was released April 26 in the UK and Ireland and is available on DVD and streaming. It was released May 5 in Australia and New Zealand and is available on streaming services.