THE PARK is a dystopian thriller (or horror drama, if you will) where all adults have died from a virus, so only pre-pubescent kids inhabit the world. Most of this story is set in a long-abandoned amusement park. A surprising little genre gem. Read our full The Park movie review here!
THE PARK is a new genre movie that has been dubbed a dystopian thriller, which is very appropriate. The official genres are horror, action, and drama. This is also very appropriate. We’re in a genre-hybrid of sorts, but the post-apocalyptic world is definitely one we recognize from horror, thriller, and sci-fi productions.
After a virus has taken the lives of all adults, the world is now run (or certainly inhabited) by kids only. The setting is reminiscent of any zombie story, you know, but having only kids on the screen gives it a nightmarish Neverland-feel. It works surprisingly well because the kids are still very much kids. But they’re also forced to take very adult actions.
Continue reading our The Park movie review below. You can find this little genre gem on VOD from March 2, 2023.
A world without adults
The movie begins by explaining that a virus has killed all the adults. The virus now lays dormant in the world where all adults have died from a virus. Now, only pre-pubescent kids live in the world. As soon as those hormones kick in, the virus can take hold.
Of course, the thought of a world without adults has long been a fantasy for many kids. It’s even the basis for the whole idea of Peter Pan and Neverland stories. More importantly, the kids themselves don’t want to grow up in those stories. Now, it’s becoming a necessity because adults die from the still-active virus.
However, The Park takes place in the world we know, so “not becoming an adult” cannot possibly happen. Obviously, this also means the end of human beings, as we cannot procreate until hormones have kicked in.
So, while the story in The Park plays out in a world where kids are free to do as they please, they’re also without any protection or help. For some kids, this isn’t much of a stretch from their life before. Other kids, however, had a good life with loving parents and other adults, so they feel the loss harder.
Kill or be killed
In a very Lord of the Flies-like setting, it quickly becomes obvious that the adult-free world is a “Kill or be killed”-situation. We arrive in the middle of the dystopian world but experience the main characters both before the virus-induced apocalypse and in the early days of living without adults.
And yes, this does include kids killing kids. Sometimes it’s self-defense while at other times, it’s simply to prove that they’re not to be messed with.
For this to be believable, we obviously need a young cast that can be fierce in a believable way. Fortunately, The Park has a stellar cast.
Chloe Guidry (The Last Tycoon) plays Ines, who is a true leader, and very believable as such. She might be younger and smaller than others, but she’s a survivor and she’s loyal. Her partner from the beginning is Bui, and we see they knew each other before the world went to hell. Bui is portrayed by Nhedrick Jabier (Secrets of Sulphur Springs).
Early on, they arrive at a long-abandoned amusement park, where they run into Kuan. Or rather, Kuan is running this whole amusement park and is very much a survivor in her own right. She’s more brain than brawl, which means Ines and Kuan are finding strengths in one another.
Kuan is portrayed wonderfully by Carmina Garay (Biohackers) who brings so much heart to the story.
Watch The Park on VOD
Shal Ngo is the writer and director of The Park, which is a movie I hope will reach a large audience. It’s a sweet movie (yes, despite the killing of children by children) because it focuses on hope and endurance. When everything seems lost, you discover what is still there.
This is the feature film debut of filmmaker Shal Ngo and it really is a thrilling journey through a dystopian world. A dark tale of a familiar, yet strange, world where children rule and life is fleeting. Life is constantly threatened by others trying to get both food and safety, as well as from the virus.
I was expecting a movie that would be interesting and intriguing. Ultimately, I was impressed by both the bold storytelling and the strong performances from a very young – and clearly very talented – cast. Be sure to check out this one when you get the chance.
The Park is out on VOD from March 2, 2023.
Director: Shal Ngo
Writer: Shal Ngo
Stars: Chloe Guidry, Carmina Garay, Nhedrick Jabier, Carli McIntyre
When a mysterious virus starts killing all adults, society is left to be governed by children living on borrowed time. After the adult population is wiped out, rival kids battle for control of an abandoned theme park. Danger lurks around every corner, and they must do whatever it takes to survive their hellish Neverland.
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