HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Friday, June 27, 2008

Grizzly Park DVD Review

I admit to being neither an expert nor a fan on the slasher genre, so I have no idea why Ian passed this disc along to me. Much to my surprise, GRIZZLY PARK is a halfway interesting take on the slasher genre. While I'm sure it's derivative of other films, I couldn't tell you which. It was a fresh experience in my eyes.

A group of teenagers convicted of various misdemeanors are sent to a national park for a week to help clean up trash and reflect on their choices in life. There's a rich white boy with the sweater vest, a quiet white supremacist, a spoiled rich white girl, a Latina gang member, an Asian girl, a black computer hacker, a dumbass white guy, and a really ditzy white girl. It's the kind of group you'd see on the cover of a university's pamphlet in a desperate attempt to prove they're diverse. The only thing missing is a guy in a wheelchair with a basketball in hand. Meanwhile, a serial killer has broken out of prison and escaped into the park. So it looks like we're heading for a straightforward serial killer movie... until a grizzly bear eats the killer.

The serial killer was a cheap plot device, you see, to get the kids totally isolated in the park. On purpose, the teens are written and performed to be extremely annoying. Only Aaron Pierce from 24 helps anchor the movie and prevented me from fast forwarding. He plays the park ranger guiding them through the park and keeping them in line. As the movie progresses, each teen reveals unashamedly the crime they committed that got them in community service, almost every one of which actually being a horrific act of inhumanity. When the Nazi turns out to be the most likable of the group, you know you got some screwed up kids on your hands. Bears and wolves feasting on their flesh composes the rest of the movie.

For what it is, the movie was well-done. Some very nice photography of the forests. Some good gore effects if that sort of thing's your bag. It's a passable way to spend an hour and a half. I didn't hate it, and normally I hate slasher movies.

The video quality of the DVD is about as good as you could reasonably expect it to be. Not too many noticeable compression flaws. Accurate colors and a nice level of detail. Print was pristine from what I could tell. The soundtrack is undemanding but is clear, and the roar of the bear has some strong bass to it.

The extras are more extensive then I would've guessed. There are a few making-of videos that are essentially EPK fluff. There's also a commentary track that goes through the experiences filming the movie, particularly working with a live bear.

No comments: