The Horror Honeys: 'Camp Dread' is Dead Awesome!

'Camp Dread' is Dead Awesome!

A Revenge Honey Non-Revenge Review

To say that I am always more than a little suspicious of any horror movie that uses the "reality TV" hook is probably an understatement. Generally speaking, most of the horror I've seen that bases the story in the bargain basement entertainment world of people doing dumb shit for a lot of money in front cameras has been a huge disappointment. So when the Horror Honeys were given the opportunity to review Camp Dread, starring Eric Roberts, Felissa Rose, and (in a bookend role) Danielle Harris, I was skeptical of its' reality TV premise. But Poppets, this movie was a really fun slasher throwback with some of the most inventive kills I've seen in quite some time!

I will say off the bat that the anchor story is a little confusing: A group of troubled twenty-somethings are brought to what they think is an outward-bound rehab facility but upon arrival they discover it's actually a reality show with a slasher premise, except it's really an opportunistic director's attempt to relaunch a dead horror movie franchise, but really it's something much more nefarious. (Okay... I need a breath.) Really overly-complicated story aside, the rest of is a horror-lovers frigging paradise.

Eric Roberts stars as the director of the whole insanity, and his combination of charm and full-tilt sleaze serves him well here. There is never any question that he's hiding something from the minute he smirks his way on screen, but the question becomes just how much he's keeping secret. Felissa Rose stars in the film as a former horror scream queen who has given up the biz in favor of a career as a counselor, which is why she is on the "set" of the "rehab" facility. As always, Rose is a gem, and I'm not just saying that because she's my favorite. The rest of the cast is rounded out by fairly expendable pretty faces, with the exception of Joe Raffa as Novak and Nicole Cinaglia as Adrienne. Both actors dig deep enough into their roles, as a fairly massive asshole and a genuinely fucked up mess respectively, that you at least get a feel for their characters. Otherwise, pretty blonde lesbian, slutty mean brunette, dumbass dude, hot guy... You can all die now.

The makeup and gore FX in Camp Dread are really one of the elements that make this movie so exceptional. Conceptualized by Cleve Hall, one of my personal favorite makeup guys in the horror business, you really get a feel for the genuine ick factor of what might happen when say... someone swallows mouth's full of kitchen cleaner/bleach. It's not pretty. And for those of you that like your gore right up in your face and no-holds-barred, this is the movie for you. Even a dude with one leg isn't spared from biting the big one in an unceremonious fashion.

As always, I will not be giving any details about the ending of the film except to say that it is, in fact, a doozy. I genuinely didn't expect it, but that's not to say that it's some out-left-field, "it was all a dream" bullshit. Harrison Smith crafted a logical final act that is brutal in its' plausibility as it is in its' cold-bloodedness. Even the most jaded horror will be taken aback by the third act twists of the screenplay.

Despite my misgivings about pretty much anything related to "reality TV," Camp Dread made great use of the genre, showing just how far people will go for money in a society where fame and wealth are valued above integrity. While the film has some confusing original plot points, it definitely re-centers itself shortly after the beginning and becomes a gory, gross, and super effective film that will keep you on your toes through the entire third act.

Revenge Honey Stabby Points: 3 1/2 out of 5
(Plus a bonus point for Felissa Rose just for being awesome)