Campground: The Requel (2015)
directed by: Roman Jossart
starring: Roman Jossart, Jack Norman, Brandon Prewitt, Anna Love, Casey Weber, Marla Van Lanen, Ayse Howard, Cliff Scantland, V.A. Bennett, Ty Binegar, Andrew Berman, Rachel Woods, Korey Dawson, Laura Wahler, Clay Orem, Kayla Stone, Kelly Shroder, Danielle Driscoll, Brady Crank, Paul Arnone, Bryce Slabinski, Ken Morgan, Heather Lynn Coulson,
format: online screener
(out of 5)
The Movie: As a fan of Studio 605 and the original Campground film I have to say I'm very impressed with the growth these guys have undergone since I began following them. Campground had it's problems and there were a few but overall the energy and hard work done won me over and continues to do so being that it has become a staple movie for me. Each flick 605 puts out has taken another step in what will hopefully be a long independent movie career for these guys. So far tackling the slasher sub-genre with Campground and The Woods Within I as a fan cannot wait to see what else these guys have in their heads for the future of 605 cinema. The Requel fixed most of the issues with the original although the first still holds a special spot for me I very much enjoyed more Varsin mayhem. This one is much darker than the original and that for me is always better.
The Script: Minus a few oddly placed attempts at racial humor I loved this script. Kind of goes over the events of the first film as a sort of campfire story and then more back story as well as the "sequel" portion towards the end. Not sure if I can really say this has ever been done before. I mean Evil Dead 2 is a remake of the first, no matter what anyone says ha ha, but it wasn't really a part 2 so it really cannot count in being a "requel". Some of the dialogue was a bit hokey but overall much better in this one. Something lacking in the last Campground that in my opinion was corrected for the most part. What impressed me the most was the smooth transition of the story-line being that it covered the past and the present. This is something I was a little apprehensive about when Roman told me about his idea for a new Campground movie. But he came through with flying colors.
The Acting: The actors seemed more prepared in this one. If memory serves me correctly the last movie had problems with actors quitting at the last moment. Of course if I recall Roman wasn't supposed to be in the original. His presence in the first one was essential as far as I'm concerned, he makes me laugh out loud every time I watch it so I'm kind of glad some of it happened. I can't say every actor in the film was good but I will say it was a vast improvement over the last. Marla Van Lanen was the shining star in this one. Love the way this woman acts, she played Varsin's evil and crazy mother very well. At moments it seemed as if she was lost in her own head and not sure if that was intential or not but it served the insanity of the character well. Very creepy. And have to mention Jack Norman here. While playing a giant in a mask slicing up young people doesn't always require a lot of personality I think Jack came through with fire for the part of Charlie Varsin. Menacing and just plain scary Jack put me in close mind to Kane Hodder and really I can't emphasize that enough he was absolutely perfect.
The Shots: And here we have the largest improvement of the Requel, the cinematography. I don't know if Kirk Novit who is listed as the cinematographer is responsible or Roman himself but the shooting was vastly different and improved this time. Charlie sits in his room, a broken mirror shot to cover his face, then Charlie stalks his prey outside a tent and we get a horrific view of his shadow from inside. Bravo to the both of you.
The Gore/Fx: All practical fx here. While some don't appreciate that or try and pretend it shouldn't matter it most certainly does to those of us who remember what fx were like before computers. I don't hate cgi but I very much appreciate and enjoy seeing movies nowadays without it. Rubber dummies always look better to me than what usually looks like a video game effect. Blood most especially and the blood in this one flowed freely. Love Charlie's mask. Perfect design for this kind of film and quite unique unlike the white mask fad that seems to run rampant in the indie slasher genre. Excellent job there.
The Music: There is beginning scene as sort of an introduction where the score is very dark and haunting. Loved the musical choices here. Not everyone pays attention to scores or soundtracks while watching but I do and a good musical score really sets the tone for the film.
The Rating: 4 out of 5 Bloody Handprints and Roman deserves it. Well done. Really set the bar higher for Studio 605's next feature.