At this point the horror genre has pretty much done just about everything possible so now it is more about being clever and taking it in new directions. One of the most popular sub-genre of horror is the slasher film, most notably those in the 80s focusing on the summer camps. The latest, Camp Dread looks to bring that idea back with a new twist and is bringing along Eric Roberts, horror icons Felissa Rose, and Danielle Harris for the bloody fun, but does it do that period of horror justice or is it time to shut down the camp once and for all?
Camp Dread follows the writer and director of the most popular horror franchise in the 80s who is attempting to reboot the series a decade later in a reality show format. If he can pull this off it put him back on top, so with the unwitting help of a group of young "contestants" as well as his former stars, he seems to have put together a sure fire recipe for success until people start dying for real. Now the elimination portion of the show is taking on a whole new meaning as "Dead.tv" clearly shows the slasher film has grown up. This film had everything it needed to make for a great homage to the genre, but for some reason still manages to fall a bit short. The story is decent enough and sports every generic character you expect for this sort of film, but spends a little too long getting to know the characters before finally moving forward. Once the killing finally gets going it does get better, but never really pushes itself to the next level. This could be a budgeting issue, but in those cases with a little added effort in style really makes up for a lot. On the flip side it still manages to be an entertaining film with some fun scenes here and there despite its shortcomings.
Eric Roberts is in form seemingly having a great time with this part. Of the known leads in the film, he is the only one that is prominently featured but has the chops to carry the film and bring his sometimes sleezy character to life. Felissa Rose and Danielle Harris both take on a different role than fans are used to and bring some much needed legitimacy to the film. Harris doesn’t appear as much as you may want, but sports some lines that are so out of character they are awesome. As a whole this is one of those films that doesn’t deliver everything you may hope, but hardcore slasher freaks will most likely have a good time.
Prepare for the most dangerous reality camping trip ever when Camp Dread hits DVD on April 15th.
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