#31in31 2019 – “Spirit Camp”

“Fuck swim team!”

Story: Goth (and former juvie) chick Nikki has to attend a summer cheer camp with her school’s squad because rehabilitation and stuff. But naturally Nikki isn’t the jerk in the group; she’s just surrounded by dinks. When cheerleaders start dying in gruesome ways, Niki and the gang must band together. That’ll work well I’m sure.

Scares: Of the Grade Z slasher variety.

Splat factor: Mostly just a lot of the red stuff.

Closing scene “shocker”?: A genuinely well done climax with a fun ending but no twist.

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Original, though it takes a lot of cues from classic slashers.

Trick or Treat?: Ready for stupid characters, gratuitous bewbs, and lots of Karo syrup & red food coloring? Formation! While it’s not gonna be on anyone’s best list, Camp has a great big bloody heart, and the creators have an obvious love of the genre that shines through. And that love is what makes this slasher worth a watch.

There’s pretty darn effective onscreen FX for this super-low budget shocker. The cinematography is spotty though, veering from soap opera-vision to decent film quality, and it’s the shift in picture quality that kept throwing me off. Pick a lane y’all. The screenplay is cringy, even with the cast giving it their all. (Oh gods – did one of the high school cheerleaders actually say “you’re the one who killed those teenagers”?) But we’re not here for cin-eh-MAH. We’re here for the blood.

This movie is so low budget that there’s only the one cheer squad, and two trainers; spirit addict Lindsay and her gloriously gay cheer partner Brett. Smallest camp ever! There are other bits of possible axe fodder, like the local hottie, the camp director, the po-po, and a few others. Speaking of others, jeebus how I wish the little sister got sliced. I hate stupidly precocious kid characters, and this kid hits Kenny-in-Gamera levels of annoying. Sadly she doesn’t go to the camp, so she’s spared. Maybe if there’s a sequel…and yeah, I’d watch it.

Score: 3.5 out of 5 pumpkins. The love for horror is loud and proud here, bumping this up a half star.

This entry was posted in 31 in 31, In Horror, Movie Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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