Welcome to the carnival of fear
Writer: Jay Woelfel
Director: Jay Woelfel
Closed for the Season is certainly different.
A young girl sneaks into an amusement park at night the day after it closed in order to retrieve a lost teddy bear. Next thing she knows it’s twenty years later and she’s trapped in the run down park. She meets the son of the park caretakers and the two of them start experiencing all sorts of weirdness. Anything scary that comes into their heads happens, orchestrated by the ghost of a dead carny.
Obviously it’s not real – there’s even a tannoy announcement to that effect! But what’s actually going on is unclear. Is it the spirit of the park? Is it all an allegory of lost youth? Maybe they’re in some sort of purgatory?
After having watched it I’m still not sure.
The whole film is disjointed, basically a series of memories and nightmare images with little or no narrative drive. That makes it rather difficult to watch at first, but once you get used to it and go with the flow it’s an interesting psychedelic dream journey. Against the odds it does actually come to an ending which, whilst explaining nothing, is dramatically satisfying.
There’s a lot of stuff about stories, illusions and reality which provides a theme but no explanation. I’m ok with that, it was well done. Unfortunately it does become rather wearing after a while and at 114 minutes the film is too long, it needs 20 minutes trimmed off.
If you don’t mind something challenging and off the wall then Closed For The Season is an interesting, atmospheric trip.