Review by Paris Jade
The horror queen, Jenna Ortega, is back with another film in this scary comedy: American Carnage. After a new governor issues an executive order to capture and arrest all the children of undocumented immigrants, they are given a chance to have their charges dropped if they attend a program taking care of the elderly.
The budget for this film is very apparent. You can tell that it’s low due to the poor visual effects and simple settings. There is one scene in particular in which there is a turn in the plot involving an elderly person and Allen Maldonado’s character. Suddenly you know where their entire budget went. Besides the special effects, the set dressing and cinematography all look great, and they did a good job with however much they were working with.
Jorge Lendeborg Jr. gave an exceptional performance along with his costars Jenna Ortega and Allen Maldonado. Lendeborg was great as a lead and will keep you engaged in the story. However, Maldonado carried the movie with his comedic timing. His character will be an audience favorite and the most memorable. Ortega, for once, had a less memorable role, but like always, she played it to bits and continues to be a perfect actress, whether leading or supporting. She’ll keep climbing the ladder to success.
As for the plot itself, it honestly is a bit of a crazy movie. Try your best to go into the film as blind as you can — it makes the experience much better without knowing much. The horror elements don’t begin to reveal themselves until about 25 to 30 minutes in. The first time it happens, it feels a bit random since those first 30 minutes don’t have a horror-esque feel to the point that you’ll forget that it’s even horror. Once you do hit that first point of eerie events, it slowly goes down further into a pit of horror, and you don’t feel thrown off by it anymore. Besides that little blip, it is a thoroughly entertaining film filled with thrill, comedy, and excitement. There won’t be a moment where you’re bored, searching for how much time you might have left on the movie.
American Carnage is a simple horror-comedy that anyone could enjoy. This is a great film to see in the summer, and the casual horror fan or movie-goer will have a good time watching it. The cast is great, and even with a lower budget, the team pulled it off.
Watch American Carnage in theaters and on VOD on July 15.