Suspenseful simplicity in CENTRAL PARK
A killer is on the loose in Central Park. The sounds and sights of New York City bookend this modern suspense film from director Justin Reinsilber (A New York Love Story, Keep the Lights On). Six students from a private high school cope with life, love, and social complications, as the killer stalks and watches them from afar. The film takes the time to tell the stories of each of these students – legal problems, loss, relationships, and parental issues plague them, so they decide to let off steam by throwing a private party…in Central Park…at night.
Harold’s (Justin Davis) father is implicated in a Ponzi scheme, Sessa (Ruby Modine) still struggles with the loss of a parent on 9/11, Leyla (Grace Van Patten) is Harold’s love interest, Felix (Guillermo Arribas) is Sessa’s love interest, Mikey (Deema Aitken) deals with social awkwardness and acceptance, and Donna (Malika Samuel) partners with Mikey and is along for the ride. During their evening get together, they share the story of a “wolf-man” who inhabits the park and has since become the local legend.
Two police detectives (Charles Borland and David Valcin) and a concerned teacher (Michael Lombardi) later converge with the students in the park, as they fight for their survival from the Central Park killer.
The synthesized film score is a throwback to the ‘80s-style suspense genre. There is merit in this film’s simplicity in story, style, and technique, as the tale is told in a straightforward fashion, free from unnecessary fluff and filler. The film is reminiscent of Spike Lee’s Son of Sam in its attention to story and character building among external conflict and threat.
Often simplicity of story is all that is required to get the job done – this film does just that.