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Sleepaway Camp film review

★★★★

Directed by: Robert Hiltzik

Written by: Robert Hiltzik

Starring: Felissa Rose, Johnathan Tiersten, Karen Fields, Mike Kellin and Christopher Collet

Throwback Film Review by: Rachel Pullen

 

Sleepaway Camp (1983) Film Review


Sleepaway Camp (1983) Film Review
Sleepaway Camp (1983) Film Review

I don't know if you know this but I kinda dig Friday the 13th, I mean, it’s iconic, I love everything about it, so much so I have had Friday 13th birthday parties, Jason dolls in my bed, and watch the movies over and over every year. But how much of a bad film critic would I be if I only loved one film, and not only that, but neglected the many films that became, because of Jason and his mommy's boy ways?


“What!” you may be screaming is the film that tears me away from sexy Jason, what movie possesses such pull power? Need you even ask my silly ducklings, strap in, because we are about to talk about the one, the only: Sleepaway Camp.


This 80s gem opens with a tragic boat accident, after a father takes his son and daughter out on the lake, only one child returns, a young girl called Angela, and she is sent to live with her insane aunt, who packs Angela and her son off to camp for the summer.


Angela hates chit chat, in fact, she says nothing, well welcome to hell Ange, because kids are gonna bully you for that shiz, and bully they do. Angela, being a total mute becomes somewhat of a punching bag for the bitchy girls at the camp... help ya self Ange, just make some light talk, maybe about your dad’s untimely death...you know, keep it fun.


But wait, people start getting killed at the camp, because that's what happens at every summer camp if you watch horror films in the 80s, and although you would think, ok send the kids home, call the cops, the peeps in charge are like...Nah, let’s go swimming...and then they go swimming. It was a simpler time.


If you have not seen the end of this movie then great, don't read any more, because the end of Sleepaway Camp has one of those twist endings that horror fans always talk about, for you see it turns out that the crazy aunt decided she wanted a daughter and after the father’s death she raises the son as...Angela! Could explain why she is a little weird, you know, hiding her penis all the time.


This movie is teeming with B-movie feels, its low budget vibe is iconic of the slasher flicks of the decade, but that aside Sleepaway Camp touches on some subjects that are kind of ahead of its time. There is the gender reveal, of course, and not in the lame way people do when they are having a baby, but as well as that the film tackles predatory behaviour from the adults, toxic masculinity and its repercussions and much more, in fact, Sleepaway Camp builds solid and believable foundations for revenge kills.


Despite taking the whodunnit style of filmmaking and the iconic location of a summer camp from Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp has enough of its own style, character and strong storyline to hold its own, and not only that it has one hell of an ending, and when something sticks in your brain like that, you know it's worth a watch!


So what can we learn with our brain sections?

  • All summer camps result in murder

  • Never move in with the crazy aunt

  • Boats are not for the weak-hearted.





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