Thrill Ride — which begins a six-day theatrical premiere run at Woodstock’s Classic Cinemas tonight — takes place in HappyLand, a mysterious indoor amusement park built by Al Capone that is in the process of closing down.
The story follows a widowed pawnshop owner named Ben, his son, and two daughters. With the closing of the park, Ben has free reign to scavenge for things they could resell.
Ben’s son Henry and his friend Truman believe in a legend about three statues located in the park and find a blueprint that apparently shows the location for Capone’s hidden treasure.
Henry, Truman, and Henry’s older sister Joy decide to investigate that night. Once the kids arrive at the park, they find out the legends are true as the three statues come to life and chaos ensues.
Thrill Ride is a fun kids film that gave me an old nostalgic feeling of Nickelodeon films from the early to mid-1990’s. During the course of the runtime, it showcases funny and heartfelt moments between the kids and a Sea Witch, played by Kristen Johnston (3rd Rock from the Sun).
There’s some funny physical comedy with the mythical characters and some very amusing fish-out-of-water scenarios with hilarious anachronistic banter.
Thrill Ride will probably appeal to a specific, core age demographic. The story fits youth style programming and the character relationships follow that format. The dialogue and CGI are similar to contemporary daytime series made for younger audiences: not what you’d find in a Spielberg flick, but good enough to hold a their attention.
That being said, Thrill Ride is a cute and entertaining film for the kids. So go see it.
Prior to my viewing of Thrill Ride, I knew a little about the production behind the film. The story was conceived by a ten-year-old named Mason — the son of writer-director Chris Parrish and co-producer Ilisa Aaron Parrish — who tragically passed away from a rare form of pediatric brain cancer Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
Mason came up with the idea after viewing Night at the Museum and thought it’d be so much more fun to take place at an amusement park.
This film was made for a great cause and has A LOT of heart. Proceeds will go toward the Mason Parrish Foundation, which is a 501c3 charitable corporation with the goal of supporting DIPG research.
The “Thrill Ride” theatrical premiere begins tonight at Woodstock’s Classic Cinemas and runs through Wednesday Dec. 6. For more information, click here.