Saturday, October 12, 2019

31 Days of Halloween: "Sleepaway Camp" 1983

This is going to be a silly slasher movie.

That's what I told myself when I spotted this on Amazon Prime a few weeks ago. It's just going to be a silly slasher movie. I mean, the title is a simple "Sleepaway Camp." the poster is an old Adidas tennis shoe with a bloody knife through it. No harm in that, right? I thought it was going to be like every other slasher at a camp movie from the 1980's. Plenty of crazy killings, plenty of sex and drugs, plenty of silly dialogue. 

For the most part, that's how "Sleepaway Camp" plays. We meet young Ricky who goes to a summer camp with his cousin Angela. It is Angela's first time at the summer camp and Angela has been living with Ricky's family ever since a tragedy that happened to Angela eight years prior. Ricky shows her around and is really sweet to her, but she's very reserved and introverted. Ricky tries to spark another romance with last year's flame, Judy but she's now popular and going after the older boys. Judy and the popular kids terrorize Ricky and Angela, which brings lots of tension to Ricky's feet.

All while this is happening, a killer is going around killing kids around camp. Much like many of the slasher films of the 1980's, the killer makes up very interesting ways of killing people. Many people around camp are investigated for the killings, including Ricky. It seems like people he's butting heads with are the people who are getting killed, so is Ricky behind the killings? 

For much of the running time, this is going to feel like a typical slasher. It's got a quasi-predictable ending. You can probably guess who the killer is, but that's not the whole story. There is a huge bombshell of a story dropped right at the end of the movie. I don't want to get too much into it, but there is a twist thrown in right before the credits roll and its a reveal that really makes the movie. It isn't a cop-out ending, because it actually does make sense if you really pay attention throughout the film. But its one last shocker right before the credits. The twist makes the movie, and for those reasons, you should see it just to see what you think of it.

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