23 February 2020

Review || Cirque Berserk by Jessica Guess

The summer of 1989 brought terror to the town of Shadows Creek, Florida in the form of a massacre at the local carnival, Cirque Berserk. One fateful night, a group of teens killed a dozen people then disappeared into thin air. No one knows why they did it, where they went, or even how many of them there were, but legend has it they still roam the abandoned carnival, looking for blood to spill.

Thirty years later, best friends, Sam and Rochelle, are in the midst of a boring senior trip when they learn about the infamous Cirque Berserk. Seeking one last adventure, they and their friends journey to the nearby Shadows Creek to see if the urban legends about Cirque Berserk are true. But waiting for them beyond the carnival gates is a night of brutality, bloodshed, and betrayal.

Will they make they make it out alive, or will the carnival’s past demons extinguish their futures?

 



There's something about abandoned places that are inherently eerie; Amusement parks are one of those places. Maybe it's that our own experiences of those places tell us that they should be filled with boisterous voices and screams of excitement and happiness. Cirque Berserk speeds us away to a carnival that has remained empty since 1989. Those are screams you hear but they are not shouts of enjoyment!

In the present day, a group of teens, bored with the usual senior trip and seeking a once-in-a-lifetime experience, decide to break into the deserted Cirque Berserk. Only...why is the carnival abandoned? We soon find out that in 1989, a group of teenagers went on a rampage, killing nine people. Switching between 1989 and 2019, Jessica Guess gives a fun peek back into the musical hits of the '80s while still providing all the slice and dice of the slasher genre.

Time After Time played softly through the speakers as they both stood over the pool of Rochelle's blood from only minutes before. 

As with a lot of slashers, there's more to the teen killers than meets the eye. Jessica Guess creates a unique backstory for the 1989 killings and propels Cirque Berserk into paranormal territory with ties to the occult. Each year, the carnival comes alive to accept the new sacrifices. It's a race against time for the killers and a rush to survive for those poor souls trapped within Cirque Berserk this faithful night.

You know, I told you we'd end up like a horror movie," Rochelle said.

As part of the Rewind or Die series, Cirque Berserk creates nostalgia for that golden era of VHS tapes and Blockbuster B-movie horror nights. Slasher fans looking for more than the old worn-out horror tropes will delight in Cirque Berserk.