Central Park is the directorial debut of Justin Reinsilber. The film was actually shot in the 843 acre park and offers its own take on the slasher genre. This unique story is having its world premiere at Dances with Films this weekend. Let’s see what it has to offer.
When a New York billionaire is disgraced by the collapse of his Ponzi scheme, the devoted friends of his teenage son rally around him. As the doors of their gilded world shut to him, they set out for an epic night in Central Park to blow off some steam. Little do they know the consequences of his father’s crimes will go far beyond his client’s bank accounts. A vengeful soul waits in the trees, and the sins of the father will soon be visited on all the children with the help of a sharp blade.
So, the movie starts off and we meet several kids. I have a feeling they were meant to be unlikable. They’re all prep school rich kids and in the background you keep hearing about how one of their dads is locked up after ripping off tons of people through a Ponzi scheme. There’s lots of references to Bernie Madoff and I get that the filmmakers are tapping into the public’s frustration with all of the corruption and greed on Wall Street along with the seemingly lack of justice.
After we spend the first twenty minutes or so meeting the characters, they go for a night hanging out at Central Park, sitting around partying and doing what rich teenagers would do. In the background of all this, we have our killer.
The killer is a faceless man whom I assume was a victim of the Ponzi scheme. My biggest complaint is that this is never explored in the film. The only reason I figured that out is from the synopsis. Sure, in the movie the radio is playing in the background while the killer conducts its first kill, but some kind of background on just what this man suffered to make him so angry and violent would have added a lot to the story. Who was he? How much money did he lose? Was his life totally destroyed? Did he lose his home? Financial ruin can cause people to do some crazy things. This would have added an interesting layer to the story.
The story proceeds like a typical slasher story, with the killer taking out our rich kids in a variety of ways. The kills are each different which mixed things up nicely. There isn’t a lot of gore. So, if you’re looking for lots of blood and guts, you won’t find it here. This film focuses on the chase and the buildup leading up to the kills.
Overall, Central Park offers an interesting and unique look at slasher films while adding a social message. I just would have liked to seen it explored a little more instead of so much focus on the kids. It is definitely worth a watch.