Closed for the Season
Directed by Jay Woelfel
Sometimes the poster is totally misleading. This is one of those times.
Eerie skull and the tagline "Welcome to the Carnival of Fear" make it seem like this amusement park is going to be your typical slasher ala Dark Ride. But it's not. What you get with Closed for the Season is an attempt to scare you with nostalgia.
It's not a full fledged horror film but more of a sprinkled thriller where two people reminisce about their time as kids at Chippewa Lake amusement park. Seemingly trapped they encounter the memories of the park in horrific ways. Later, they encounter a carny who guides them to partake in all the rides but for a price.
Because this is a low budget flick, the limitations are front and center. From roller coaster CGI to blood and gore effects you're going to get a rubber mask getting eye poked and you're going to have to deal with it. In the place of scares is lots of talking between Kristy (Aimee Brooks) and James (Damian Maffei) trying to figure out how to escape this supernatural park and the crazed carny (Joe Unger).
The only good comes from the backdrop of Chippewa Lake amusement park which is a real 30 year old amusement park that's been abandoned. From the old roller coaster, an old boat, rusty ferris wheel and a fun house, it brings about a sense of eerie that can't be production set created.
The rest of the film is a complete snoozefest. There is a sense of mystery between Kristy and James as the two have a sense of history told through childhood flashbacks. If the movie was trying to give us a sense of nostalgia for a time when younglings had the time of their lives at amusement parks and carnivals, it doesn't do a good job of making this apparent. Instead we get scene after scene of potential jump scares and cliched horror in a box.
Closed for a Season is a 2 hour (!) pseudo horror film that potentially could have been a scary flick with an abandoned amusement park as it's backdrop but they didn't put in a ride for the audience to scare us at all. And the purpose of the awesome rides like roller coasters is to get a fright and thrill for 2 minutes. That's a helluva rush. Instead we get a ferris wheel (which is our maxed out conclusion, how appropriate) and the viewer has ridden a ride of a film that did absolutely nothing.
That's just freakin boring.
Some squishy moments
The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis
The movie comes out August 23rd on VOD and DVD via MTI Home Video.
Check out the trailer.