Friday, November 28, 2008

"She's a real carpenter's dream: flat as a board and easy to screw!"

After the disappointment of Friday the 13th, a friend of mine mentioned Sleepaway Camp. It's in the same vain in that it's set in summer camp with a murderer on the loose. I was expecting it to be a spoof of the idea but it actually wasn't. I guess Friday the 13th was too new and small to be made fun of at the time.

Firstly, I enjoyed this more than Friday the 13th. The characters were more developed, the story had more depth and the acting was better. Not that the acting was great but it was as good as it needed to be. Angela was an interesting main character that you wanted to know more about all the way through. The character of the Aunt is absolutely demented, I have no idea why she was like that but it was amusing. The male characters were OK but the other girl, Judy, was pretty bad and really irritating, not that you were supposed to like her anyway. I do have to say that the cop at the end that arrives at the camp has the most awesome movie mustache ever! It's absolutely hilarious, think Groucho Marx!

The plot is kinda flimsy, just a typical slasher movie really although the deaths are way more inventive than F13th. The script is nothing to brag about, it gets the job done which is all you can expect from something as low budget as this. But the ending? That's another matter altogether! The killer themself is pretty predictable once you get nearer the end but that's not the bit that gets you. If you want to see it then don't read on because this is a pretty major spoiler....Angela turns out to be the brother that survived the boating accident we see at the beginning. The crazy aunt decided to raise her as a girl for no apparent reason and it has obviously traumatised him/her enough to send him/her on a killing spree! It doesn't make a whole lot of sense and there is a bizarre flashback sequence part way through with their father and his male lover in bed together that I don't quite understand (explanations on a postcard please!). But it's the actual revelation rather than the idea. The final shot is actually pretty terrifying for such an overlooked horror film. It lingers on the screen for a lot longer than you probably care for it to be and it is truly haunting.

Best Scene: That ending.

Best Quote: Probably the one in the title.

Did You Know? In the UK, the film is known as Nightmare Vacation (which is weird, why would they change a normal enough title to one that is more American?)

Overall: Well worth watching just for the ending but it has good elements throughout. I'll probably check out the two sequels although they are not supposed to be as creepy.

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