Carnival of Fear (AKA Closed for the Season)


A young woman called Kristy suddenly wakes up in a deserted Amusement Park and is menaced by the park’s inhabitants.  She spots a house and runs for cover seeking help from the young man inside, James.

Kristy and James are soon joined by a sinister looking clown known as ‘The Carny’.  It is he who starts to play mind games with the duo by all means at his disposal.  The Carny is a right seedy old dude and is played with a gleeful menace by Joe Unger. You never quite know what he will do next and with his various tricks and disguises you tend to feel a genuine unease when he is on the screen. Kristy and James have to get out of the carnival but can they make it out alive?

Director Jay Woelfel (who also wrote the film and directed the under-rated final chapter in the ‘Trancers’ film series) has crafted a film which confuses the hell out of you and when you think you got it worked out, it confuses you further.  Whether this was done either in the script or the editing suite, it makes a nice refreshing change from the usual by-the-number horror movies.

The film has good old fashioned make up effects and a bit of dodgy CGI at the beginning but don’t let that put you off.  I also liked Woelefel’s use of digital work on some scenes with some well wild colours being used and some clever filtering of the camera’s image. Using an old deserted funfair for the location shooting has helped immensely and gives the film a real creepy atmosphere.

It’s certainly quite an strange experience at times and one which I did rather enjoy.  It is a real head trip at times but at least it’s different, which I’m all for in this age of lame slasher and zombie pictures.

  • Starring Aimee Brooks  Damien Maffei  Joe Unger
  • Director Jay Woelfel
  • Distributor 101 Films