I have a confession to make. I've seen a lot of horror movies and the slasher genre is one of my favorites. The 80's produced a lot of movies, some good, some bad and some down right unwatchable. Sleepaway Camp is one of those movies that has grown into a cult status over the years and just about every horror fan has seen it...except for me.
Again, thanks to TubiTV I was finally able to sit down this weekend and watch this movie. Going into this movie I knew all about the killer and the shockingly, twisted ending of the movie...yet I've never seen even a scene from the movie. It's highly regarded in a lot of horror fan circles so I thought I owed it to myself to watch it.
I doubt at this point much can be said that hasn't already been said about this movie. If you're reading this I'm going to guess you've seen the movie or at least know about it's premise. The story centers around a young 14 year old girl, Angela, who is sent off to the summer camp with her cousin. However years earlier she was traumatized on the same like that Sleepaway Camp is located. All throughout the movie Angela is bullied and picked on, by both her fellow female campers as well as the boys. Then one by one many of these same people end up dead. The camp owner tries to keep things down, worried the camp's reputation will take a hit and no parents will want to send their kids the next year. Eventually the killer is revealed...in a manner most shocking.
I know this will be not be popular opinion, but I just didn't care for this movie. From very early on a sexually pervasive undertone is set and that just made my stomach churn. A large majority of the cast are young children and the early comments were just too much. The mannerisms and language of many of the children/young teens is horrible. The way they treat each other is pretty over the top and at times they seem to go overboard. I'm a child of the 80's so it's nothing that I haven't seen or heard, it was just crazy the way a lot of the kids behaved in this movie.
Slasher movies are usually about the kills and Sleepaway Camp does offer a pretty large body count. I didn't find the movie to be over the top bloody or gory, but many of the kills do use practical special effects. The kills are violent, but usually not too bloody. One kill (involving mother nature) I thought was interesting, but not realistic. Most of the kills weren't drawn out either, happening rather quickly. Some you don't even see happen, just the after effects.
The acting was hit and miss. The camp owner I couldn't understand most of the time either because of his acting or his accent. The kids were brats and one in particular camp counselor wasn't so great either. The setting of the movie wasn't bad, in fact we've got a camp near where I live on a lake that I was reminded of while watching. The score and sound effects were standard fare, nothing that stood out to me.
Fun fact, the late father of the great James Earl Jones has a small role a cook in this movie!
All in all I really thought this movie to be average. Perhaps if I had went in completely and totally spoiler free I may have a different opinion. I'm glad to have finally checked this one off my list, but I was expecting more based on this movie's reputation. I'd give this movie a C.