When I heard Felissa Rose was making an appearance in the new Sleepaway Camp
movie, I told myself, "There is no way in HELL I'm watching that! That bitch is scary!" but then I thought to myself, "Well, she scared me once, so the chances of her scaring me again are slim to none, since I'll be expecting it." Well, the second half of me was right. Instead of following the first film, Return to Sleepaway Camp
is in the vein of its sequels, which is campy, but not exactly scary.
After years of being closed, Camp Manabe decides to reopen under a new name to a batch of new kids. With every group, there's always the odd man out, the target for embarrassment this time is Alan (Michael Gibney
), a chubby kid who tries to be tough but gets picked on nonetheless. As the kids become more and more cruel, Ronnie (Paul DeAngelo
), who was the camp counselor the last time Manabe was open, keeps an eye on Alan, afraid history will repeat itself. Years prior, a young girl named Angela (Felissa Rose
) was in the same position as Alan and eventually killed a bunch of kids at camp, later on revealing she was a boy, rather than a girl, which was only part of the reason of behind her insanity. Ronnie believes Angela has somehow escaped from lock-up and returned to the camp while others are accusing Alan when people start disappearing and murders start happening. Is Ronnie just being paranoid, or is his instinct correct? Watch and find out!
TESSA'S TWO CENTS
For someone who's been a fan of this series forever, I was excited no matter what the outcome. Whether it was going to be scary like the first one or campy like the others, I knew the fifth movie would be in the same vein regardless. So, fans, you'll definitely like this no matter what. Not only do we get to see the original Ronnie and Ricky Baker (Jonathan Tiersten
) back for another film, but we also get to see the guys from CKY
have cameos as camp counselors. For those of you who don't know, CKY stands for Camp Kill Yourself, which is an homage to the film series. The late, great Isaac Hayes
also has a small cameo as Charlie the Chef, where he basically just charms you to pieces and then quickly disappears.
Of course, the best cameo is done by that of Miss Felissa Rose. Not nearly as dramatic as the first film, the ending to this was predictable. You sort of pick up on hints throughout the film what the outcome will be, but when she's actually on-screen, she's still sort of creepy.
The story, written and directed by Robert Hiltzik
(who also did the first one), was actually pretty good. Aside from being slightly predictable, the kills were written beautifully and were pretty creative, which is hard to come by these days in horror, and the events fall into place by the end. The ending itself is actually pretty open-ended and of course while looking up information on the movie, found out there's a sixth movie coming. I'm sure it'll be as much fun as this one.
This film looks and feels like its '80s installments, from the grainy look of the film to the schlocky acting. Along with Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter
, I can easily say this movie is one of the only newer films that believably looks like it could have been filmed in the '80s themselves. Its tone definitely adds a bit of nostalgia to those who watched the films long ago, which of course I loved.
Since the fifth film obviously went with 100% camp (har har) versus 90% of the first film (best ending ever), I would definitely love to see Pamela Springsteen
come back in the sixth in some fashion. Hell, maybe Angela can have a twin "sister"?
IN THE END...
It took a long time for this one to come out, and I've got to say I'm not entirely disappointed. Granted, the ending could have had a nice little twist to it and a lot of the death scenes were a little too drawn out even for my taste, but I had a great time watching it anyway. If you LOVE this series, see it. If its hit or miss for you, you could leave this one.