Posted November 30, 2011 by Alex Moss Editor in C
 
 

Camp Hell


If you liked the trailer for Camp Hell, don’t bother to watch the film.

If you liked the trailer for Camp Hell, don’t bother to watch the
film.
Falsely advertised as a fast
paced supernatural horror, the story in fact moves at a snail’s pace, and most
of the spooky finale is in the trailer anyway (not to mention nearly all of Jesse Eisenberg’s screen time!).

Tommy is a young lad sent to a pseudo-Christian camp where the youth
are taught the dangers of sins such as premarital sex and, wait for it… rock
music. He is haunted by a demon
via nightmares, and when he fails to resist the advances of the alluring
Melissa, his sin gives the demon cause to wreak havoc on the camp.

Now there are of course some fanatics in the world following twisted
offshoots of Christianity, as there are of many other religions, and perhaps
one day a film will be made that accurately and fairly portrays their pitfalls
and hypocrisies. But Camp Hell is
not it. The Christians here are a
confusing mishmash of stereotyped Catholicism, evidenced by the camp being run
by a priest, not to mention the characters making the sign of the cross every
two minutes… and radical charismatics, whose main crime seems to be
irritating people with their cheery songs and perpetual smiles. Writer director George VanBuskirk clearly wasn’t aiming for realism on any level,
which is pretty disgraceful when his film claims to portray some of the inner
workings of a popular world religion.

One thing the film does have going for it is the controlled and credible
performance of Will Denton as
Tommy. He very nearly lifts the
quality of the production out of the gutter, where it would certainly belong if
weren’t also for the accomplished cinematography. Valentina de Angelis
however is horrendous as Melissa.
To be fair it doesn’t help that her character is there purely as sin
inducing eye candy for poor Tommy, but she simply couldn’t be less convincing
if her face was made of plastic.
Perhaps she has a future as a model.

The music is inappropriate and distracting, so much so that any
atmosphere that might have been created is instantly evaporated whenever the
score kicks in. The most
frustrating thing about Camp Hell though is its ending; not that it doesn’t come
soon enough (that too…) but that the conclusion is so bizarrely disconnected
from all that has gone before, that any message or intention VanBuskirk may
have had is completely lost.

Aside from a couple of entertaining (but irrelevant) half clever
references to popular classics like Jurassic
Park
and Star Wars, Camp Hell is
a distinctly lifeless film; boring, pointless and offensive. Save your time and money. Life really is far too short.


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com