I recently was invited to a screening of Mickey Keating's Carnage Park. I knew what I was getting into, but I wasn't quite aware of the experience I would have viewing the film. I knew of Keating from Ritual and Pod. However, to say he knocked this film out of the park is an understatement. Carnage Park is one of my favorite films of 2016. Check out the trailer below:
The simple synopsis reads as A psychotic sniper (Pat Healy) terrorizes a bank robber (James Landry Hébert) and his hostage (Ashley Bell) in the California desert. Just seeing the names Pat Healy, Ashley Bell, and James Landry Hébert made me so excited. The cast alone was amazing. Ashley Bell's realistic yet haunting performance was incredible. Pat Healy was so intriguing yet disturbing. While James Landry Hébert’s performance was so believable. It was truly a very well-meshed cast. I couldn't imagine anyone else playing their roles. I was very satisfied with the cast. I could go on and on for days about their acting in this film.
Carnage Park has a very eerie feeling to it. It's not necessarily a horror film. It's more of a suspense/thriller type of film. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. The context and visuals of the film were so intense. It's very realistic and I think that's why I not only appreciated the film, but I was inspired by it as well.
The visuals in this film were stunning yet gory, which is my absolute favorite. The setting of the film was beautiful. I was so mesmerized visually by this film. Every shot and angle of the camera was smooth and precise and it told a story; It flowed so effortlessly. I really commend Keating on the directing of Carnage Park. He was also the screenwriter of this film. The storyline alone kept me engaged and wanting to see how the film would end. The way the characters were introduced was great. Nothing was overwhelming, expositional or obvious. It was very cool to see how everything played out, how it was connected, and how it ended. From the relationships between characters to the story unfolding everything was paced impeccably.
The sound design and music as well were some of my favorite aspects of Carnage Park. The sound design was incredible. I felt like I was actually in the film with the characters. It set the perfect tone and mood to the film. I was wide-eyed and ready for whatever was next to come when watching the film. The music was also pretty interesting. It had a very different feel which I appreciated. It wasn't your typical film score; it was so different. Keating even mentioned the fact that there is a song written and performed by Charles Manson in the film.
I would definitely say this film is one of a kind. If you get a chance to see it, please do. It's something you don't want to miss. You can see Carnage Park at select theaters and on VOD. Let me know what you think!