Blog: All Things Film – Camp Dread Review

Blog: All Things Film – Camp Dread Review

The premise to Camp Dread is simple; take a bus full of degenerate twentysomethings, instead of taking them to rehab or prison, transport them to a summer camp which gained infamy as the set of a horror film franchise and tell them that they have a chance to win $1 million if they partake in a new reality game show produced by horror maestro Julian Barrett (Eric Roberts). All they have to do is be the last one to be eliminated.

Throw in Sleepaway Camp star Felissa Rose and genre favourite Danielle Harris and you should have a hit horror film right? Right?

I get that it is supposed to pay homage to the slasher camp based films of the 80’s such as Friday the 13th and Sleepaway Camp but it pales in comparison. There is no character development and people just pop up and die 2 minutes later, as a viewer you really don’t care about them. The deaths are gory but done so quickly you are hard pushed to see them and when you rewind and view in slow motion you can see how horrifically cheap the effects are. The editing is particularly bad and has been cut with a chainsaw and then sellotaped together by a half blind dyslexic chimpanzee, I half expected some of the frames to end up upside down at one point.

Eric Roberts is billed as the star of Camp Dread, however, it is evident that he spent one day on set and rattled through his lines and picked up his paycheck and meal voucher on the way out. Danielle Harris’ involvement is nothing more than a glorified cameo in the miscast role of the town sheriff. Both of these actors can do so much better and it is sad to see that they have resorted to appearing in films like this to pay the bills as it certainly wasn’t the script that attracted them.

I could summarise this review with a witty play on the title such as dreadfully camp or camp dreadful but that would be too lazy, so I will end by saying that Camp Dread, like its inhabitants is poorly executed.


Author: Matt Duddy