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‘Camp Dread’ Movie Review

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I’m thankful for growing up in the 70s and 80s. That era was rich with killer-in-the-woods movies like Friday the 13th and Sleepaway Camp. Camp Dread is in tune with the camper-killing vibe, providing some nostalgic fun along with creatively gruesome horror movie murders. Writer/director, Harrison Smith, knows where this film comes from and pays proper tribute to the memories of Camp Crystal Lake. Felissa Rose, the murderous boy/girl killer of Sleepaway Camp is featured, adding a sense of tongue-in-cheek self-awareness.

Eric Roberts stars as a shady, blacklisted director with desperate hopes for his reality show set in an old summer camp. After a long round of auditions, he settles on a group of damaged personalities, offering one million dollars to the remaining contestant. PLOT TWIST! Before the competition begins, players begin falling victim to horrific deaths. The campgrounds and surrounding woods are filled with several video cameras, capturing each death as it occurs. The killer goes to extreme lengths to isolate the victims, even suspending their cell phone service. With no place to safely turn, tempers flare among the campers. We’re treated to several colorful murders before the killer is revealed, lending an old school feel to the fantastic direction. Presentation can be everything in horror and Harrison Smith knows how to showcase torrents of blood like a pro. Even a garden variety cinema death looks better with a skilled director in place. I’m glad Smith enjoys foggy atmosphere as much as me. The overall sense of, uh, dread, is palpable, a required component for Camp Dread‘s success.

Danielle Harris has a small role as the local Sheriff and she’s charming as usual. I met her at Scarefest and her natural charisma brings life to the character. Smith provides a rather complex group of campers, something the film needed a little less of in my opinion. I applaud the believable characters, they just needed to be a little more two-dimensional considering their numbers. It felt a little crowded for a 90 minute film. In the end, Camp Dread is a fun, nostalgic romp through one of horror’s best settings. Fans of retro slasher flicks will surely enjoy the film – hockey mask optional.

Camp Dread is available April 15…if tax day wasn’t terrifying enough.

 

About Fister Roboto (2239 Articles)
Just ring it up with the dong tea...

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