CENTRAL PARK *** USA 2017 Dir: Justin Reinsilber. 89 mins
Justin Reinsilber makes his feature directorial debut with an effectively taut slasher film built upon an unusual, topical narrative hook. At the outset, a prominent city N.Y.C. billionaire is implicated in an elaborate Ponzi scheme that’s referred to as being bigger than (Bernie) Madoff. As a means of supporting his distraught son (Justin A Davis), his well-to-do junior high pals venture into Central Park for a fun night of booze, drugs and shagging.
A tattooed, hunting knife-wielding killer joins them. Set to a dynamic, pulsing synth score by Andre Fratto, this effectively juggles a credible 21st century embezzlement drama with the stalk and slash formula, building carefully to a suspenseful second half. It’s relatively light on overt gore, but the murder scenes are crunchy and brutal in the style of the best 80’s slasher flicks. The rich kid protagonists are tough to warm to, but there’s a sustained menace from the get-go and the location shooting adds significant production value.
Review by Steven West