Return to Sleepaway Camp (2008)

Genre(s): Horror
Magnolia || R - 86 minutes - $26.98 || November 4, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-11-14


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Robert Hiltzik
Writer(s): Robert Hiltzik (writer)
Cast: Vincent Pastore, Michael Gibney, Paul DeAngelo, Jonathan Tiersten, Isaac Hayes


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Interviews
  • Return to Sleepaway Camp Song
  • Photo Gallery


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby 2.0)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

Man, was I excited when it was announced the true sequel was being made for the 1983 classic Sleepaway Camp and it would feature some of the original cast. I jumped for joy, pounded by fist in the air and anxiously kept checking the official website for details on it. Of course, this was back in 2003. Now, five years later with numerous broken promises of the title being released Theatrically it finally, finally arrives on DVD. And you know what? I wasted five years of my life waiting for this crap.

Let me give you a run down on the "plot" of the film. Things pick up (I assume) roughly twenty years of the vicious killings at Camp Arawak. We now see that familiar camp counselor Ronnie (Paul DeAngelo) is still working there with a fresh set of new kids to watch. We first get a glimpse of our new "Angela" for the film, Alan (Michael Gibney). Much like Angela in the first film, he gets picked on by some of the "cooler" kids and in return, picks on some of the "geekier" kids. Right from the start of the film we are treated to some of the kids lightening their own farts (wonderful) and then it begins - the whining. You see, Alan is special. Not only does he choose to wear the same clothes throughout the entire film, but the voice... is like nails on a chalk board. Anytime someone does anything mean to him he opens his mouth and he talks or whines.

Anyway, getting back to the "plot" of the film - deaths start happening. So, like what any normal camp would do, they do nothing. Kids and Counselors slowly get picked off yet nothing is actually being done about. Ronnie, who lived through the whole Angela ordeal years back, claims that it is Angela who has escape from the mental ward and is doing it while others seem to chalk it up to just bad luck (yeah, right). Ronnie soon seeks out the help of Ricky, Angela's cousin and hopes that maybe he can figure out whatís going on. Eventually the film ends in a very unsatisfactory way and we are left wanting to slit our wrists.

My summary of the film may seem a bit jaded, but man am I pissed I had to watch the supposed "sequel" to one of my favorite horror films of all time. Not only did they destroy everything that was great about the first, but it appears they enjoyed doing so. The cast of characters is poorly develops and by the end of the film you wish every single person would be picked off so there would be no hope for a sequel.

I've seen some bad movies before (The Love Guru) but at least some of the acting was bearable. This film, however, has nothing going for it. Every. Single. Person is horrible. Period. For most of these kids itís their first film, so I can kind of understand why, but it really feels like they are reading off of cue cards. We have zero development for any of them and itís just plain sad that some of them thought this would be a "hit". Alan, who is the main character in this film - is just off in every single way. Angela at least was quite in the first film and it was certainly believable that she could be a serial killer but here Alan just runs from scene to scene screaming at people, crying, whining, or doing some odd things.

But what about the "big name" stars in this film? Well, Isaac Hayes has a few short scenes (where he is clearly mocking his character Chef from ďSouth ParkĒ right down to the outfit), and Vincent Pastore is a joke here (they actually call him "Big Pussy"). What were they thinking taking a role in this film?

I enjoyed both Sleepaway Camp 2 & 3 even though I knew they were not "true" sequels to the film. They had some decent death scenes, decent acting, and overall a pretty good plot. But this film is just utter and complete shit. I am so pissed, so pissed, that they destroyed the franchise with this film. And for those that may say "Well, they brought back Felissa Rose!Ē yeah, she's back and what a stellar acting job she does *rolls eyes*.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Behind the Scenes (30 Minutes) - A pretty good look at how some aspects of the film were made (makeup, special effects etc). Itís actually very quiet - many times we are introduced to a scene and then more silence for several minutes. The saving grace here is Felissa who looks amazing for her age and is featured in nearly every scene here. Interviews (25 Minutes) - Almost everyone in the film gets a few minutes here to talk about why they took the project and gives us even more behind the scenes information on the film Also included is the Return to Sleepaway Camp Song and a Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Return to Sleepaway Camp is presented in 1.78:1. Overall, this is a rather poor presentation with colors that seem very subdued and often times some ghosting around the pictures.

Audio options included a Dolby Digital 5.1 track as well as a basic Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. I viewed the film with the 5.1 track and barely heard a peep out of my rears - nearly everything from front driven. Dialog sounded clear.



.::OVERALL::.

Unless you are the biggest Sleepaway Camp fan ever, skip this. I own the original trilogy box set along with the "4th" film and I won't even keep this one in my collection. So disappointing.