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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Review: Central Park


Director: Justin Reinsilber

Screenplay: Justin Reinsilber

Year: 2021

After his father was accused and sentenced for devising a corruption scheme in which he got a large amount of money, Harold and his friends face retaliation from the city for his father’s crimes. In Central Park, the youngsters have a relaxation place, where they can have fun away from the accusing looks of the rest. However, a dangerous killer roams around the area and puts their safety at risk.

“Central Park” starts with the reports of several news media covering a corruption scheme that seems to hold severe consequences for a sector of the community. Later, we meet the group of friends that we will follow for the rest of the movie, and we meet Harold (Justiin A. Davis, “Blood Bound”), who is the son of the accused and who know faces a city ready to take on him his father’s sins. 

When we meet the group of friends, the movie’s first problem arises: the weak acting from them, which is a common problem in slasher movies. It is hard to grow interested in any of the characters or take them seriously when they cannot correctly convey emotions or when their acting is so over-the-top that they come out as absurd. So was the case that when the first one from the group falls, instead of getting worried, we feel grateful to the killer for sparing us of such horrible acting.

As in many slashers, especially in those that suffer from weak protagonists, the entertainment factor falls into the deaths. The debuting director and screenwriter Justin Reinsilber offers some entertainment in this aspect with some creative deaths and unexpected moments. However, the tight budget plays against it and only allows to show some of these in detail.

“Central Park” tries to break from the norm in slasher movies by not having a clear protagonist to keep the suspense about who the killer is and his motivation alive. At first glance, this might seem like a good idea, as it leads to many unexpected moments and to dispatch soon who appears to be the protagonist, but in its effort to achieve this, it makes many characters that look to be important at first, to become utterly unnecessary to the plot except to increase the body count. 

“Central Park” suffers from some problems that follow slasher movies, like the weak acting that is borderline absurd, and a script that promotes many unrealistic situations just to force the plot in one direction and increase the body count. The deaths are fairly creative and are well done and many unexpected, which play in its favor either on purpose or as a consequence of a defective script. Although it tries to break away from the slasher movie tropes, “Central Park” falls victim to the same genre problems, and what it tries to do differently doesn’t always land right.

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