Satans Playground Review
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Plot:"Satan's Playground" is a supernatural shocker chronicling a family's spine-tingling odyssey in New Jersey's legendary Pine Barrens region. En route to a wilderness camping retreat, their car inexplicably breaks down. As darkness falls, panic sets in. Then the marooned family stumbles upon an ancient and seemingly abandoned house. And it is here that they meet the bizarre Mrs. Leeds who lives there with her equally unhinged children. Offering no assistance, she warns of a violent, unseen force lurking in the forbidding countryside. Soon, the family will encounter a supernatural evil older than the woods themselves. "Satans Playground"...a place where deadly myth becomes gruesome reality.
Irma St. Paule,
Salvatore Paul Piro,
My Thoughts:What the hell????
Review:I already saw "House of 1000 Corpses", and I already saw "Wrong Turn". Which is probably why I got bored with Dante Tomaselli's "Satan's Playground". The story begins when a woman is dumped on the side of the road (probably by an angry boyfriend) and left to find her own way home. It's soon suggested that *something* in the woods gets her. Fast forward later on, a family of travelers get stuck in a mudhole and have to go searching for help. This is where the movie just falls into so many cliches it's unbearable. Cliche number one, one of the travelers decides to go off by himself at night to seek out help. Big no no in horror movies. Cliche number two, he comes across a rickety old house sitting deep in the woods, bearing a creepy knocker which resembles a devil of sorts. Cliche number three, a creepy old woman answers the door with a really creepy looking daughter dressed sort of like a child...despite the fact that she's atleast 45 years old. The girl also bears an evil *psychotic* smile on her face. It's hard to believe that Tomaselli, who's for the most part revered in the horror community as far as directors go, would write and direct something so predictable and cliched. I mean a movie like this is something I'd expect from a first time director just starting in the horror genre. This film breaks so many of the well known horror film rules. Like don't accept help from weird looking strangers, especially when they look like total freaks and reside in a decrepit house way out in the woods, and to go even further, never accept anything to eat or drink from them. The stars of this film are Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) and Ellen Sandweiss (The Evil Dead), both playing adult characters. Which makes the film even more pathetic. The stupid decision making displayed in this film is what you'd expect from kids, or college students. Not adults who have children, and the lead male character in the film is about 50 years old. You'd think he'd be smarter than everyone else, but in fact he's just as dimwitted. Tomaselli tries to make "Satan's Playground" more unsettling by using a creepy musical score, a mysterious creature in the woods, and evil cackling laughter that is echoed throughout the woods during a few chase scenes. Speaking of the mysterious creature in the woods, we never see it of course. As bad as this film is, the least Tomaselli could've done was show us this flying creature of sorts. Instead it just swiftly attacks and kills people from the air. Another thing that hurts this film is a low body count. There's only 4 potential victims, Felissa Rose as Donna Bruno, Ellen Sandweiss as Paula, Salvatore Paul Piro as Frank Bruno, and Danny Lopes as Donna's autistic son. Tomaselli gives these characters no chance to survive, with Piro's character being overweight, the two women of the film being totally clueless, and Lope's character is frikkin handicapped..which pretty much means he's not going to exactly *save the day*. The villains aren't any better, although they show flashes of potential at time. They're simply the typical backwards, scary looking, psychotic murderous types you'd expect to find living in the stix. Oh and did I mention there's a weird cult roaming about the film wearing red hoods which is never explained in any way shape or form?? Tomaselli decides to put the icing on this bad script by having the surviving girl return to the scene of the crime near the end of the movie along with a police officer to find her missing baby which is snatched by the backwoods kooks early on in the film. For what reason?? Again we are never told...and I don't need to tell you what happens to the surviving woman when she stupidly decides to go back. "Satan's Playground" is a huge 90 minute mess filled with a lack of explanation for anything, and characters who are old enough to know better acting out ridiculous horror film cliches which always result in death.
Pros:Very eerie musical score, good camera work capturing the woods and it's dark and spooky feel at nighttime.
Cons:Horrible script, and a lack of explanation for alot of things.
Overall:Not worth renting unless you're really a die hard Tomaselli fan.
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