Movie Review – Camp Dread

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Movie Review – Camp Dread

Category : Movie Review

Director: B. Harrison Smith

Starring: Eric Roberts, Danielle Harris, Felissa Rose

Year: 2014

The only thing that this film got right was bringing in days-gone-by stars of classic horror flicks and giving them a place in this new one; the rest is complete crap.  You’ll (maybe) recognize actors from Halloween, Sleepaway Camp, and there’s Eric Roberts, who has 550 film & TV credits to his name, so you’ll recognize him from everything.  The spirit the movie intended to capture is laudable, they succeeded some of the time, in the deaths and the sex and the killers in the woods.  But there’s a fine line that these b-movies must walk to stay impressive, and if that’s the case this film was drunk.  It crossed every boundary, broke every rule, and generally sucked; sometimes you swing and miss, and, wow, talk about a whiff.

A failed director, who once had a successful horror trilogy to his credit, attempts to start again and reclaim his fame.  He returns to the site of his success, a run down sleepaway camp, with the idea of bringing back the series with a modern twist and an attractive group of young stars.  But he wants to do it differently this time, a bit more reality and bit less camp, so he hatches a wicked plan.  A handful of troubled 20-somethings are invited to the woods instead of being sent to jail or rehab, and told that they will be filmed and “eliminated”, Survivor style.  Only, the killings quickly become far too real; who’s doing it, why, and what will happen when the number of camp guests reaches one?

I’ve seen a B. Harrison Smith flick before and didn’t remember it; that at least would have given me fair warning.  It was called Death House, it was horrible, and Camp Dread is no better.  I had a bad feeling when, at the beginning, Danielle Harris (who played the little girl in Halloween 4 & 5) said “cumstain” and it felt completely out of place, like kids trying to sound like adults and using language that just made them look stupid.  The whole movie was equally dumb and juvenile, while never finding the intricate balance between satire, gore, and fun.  The acting was abysmal, obviously, but so was the little bit of sexuality, more embarrassing than arousing; there are a shot where a girl gets out of the shower, drops her towel in fright, and is wearing a bra and panties, like, why were you wearing those under your towel and why does the camera linger on your ass like this is supposed to be hot and not confusing?  Also, I swear like 8 or 10 kids were in this one tiny SUV, they just kept popping out of nowhere; continuity seemed to be the least of the film’s concerns, and just one more of its problems.  Camp Dread?  No, Camp Dreadful, and that pun is equal to the movie’s quality.

My rating: ☆