Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Writer/director Dante Tomaselli's horror picture Satan's Playground (2005) -- the filmmaker's third feature outing -- subverts horror expectations and genre clichés by deliberately suspending point-by-point logical threads, carefully steering around gore, and enlisting an acting ensemble not of teenagers, but of actors who are predominantly well into middle age. The picture involves the Bruno family -- siblings Donna (Felissa Rose) and Paula (Ellen Sandweiss), Donna's hubby, Frank (Salvatore Paul Piro), and autistic son, Sean (Danny Lopes), and newly single Paula's baby, Anthony -- who are en route to a vacation in the New Jersey Pine Barrens when their car gets stuck in the middle of nowhere. In an effort to solicit help, they inadvertently fall prey to a clan of white-trash, backwoods psychotics, while several are picked off, one at a time, by a strange, unknown predator from out of the night sky. Cast with veterans of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Evil Dead movies, Tomaselli pays loving tribute to slasher movies of cinema past.