Saturday, December 12, 2015

Campground: The Requel

Director - Roman Jossart (The Campground)
Starring - Anna Love (Friday the 13th: The Curse of Jason), Casey Weber (The Campground), and Marla Van Lanen (Dismembering Christmas)
Release Date - 2015
Genre - Horror
Format - Streaming (Online Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     Studio 605 is no stranger to my reviews having reviewed everything they have released to date.  Back when I was first brought on to Horror Society, director Roman Jossart was my first contact when I was trying to find indie horror films to review.  The first film I wanted to tackle was The Campground so me and Roman spoke and he hooked me up with an online link to a screener.  I checked it out and since then I have been a Studio 605 fan.  Sometime last year Roman announced he would be working on a sequel to The Campground.  Sometime had passed and he announced that this sequel would also serve as a remake gaining the film the title Campground: The Requel.  A sequel and a remake?  How the fuck is a remake a sequel?  This confused me but I knew Roman and Studio 605 would not let me down.  Thanks Roman for hooking me up with the link!
     The film begins in the early 1980s as Haley Varsin (Lanen) takes her young son into a barn out in the woods and kills him with a screwdriver with no rhyme or reason to the murder.  She was placed in a mental hospital and her son Charlie (Jack Norman) went on to become a legend of sorts in the area where he is the subject of ghost stories.  A group goes out into the woods to party and hide some mushroom tips in some sugar walls when someone in a red mask slaughters them all but two.  They run through the woods until they find a home and seek out refuge where they discover that the hulking man in the red mask was actually Charlie Varsin.  The following morning they leave and become consumed with Varsin and why they were able to physically touch him.  They start to investigate Haley and Charlie and discover a conspiracy and that blood runs thicker than water.
     Slashers can go so many different ways.  They can hit the sorority house, high schools, sleepovers, or the woods.  Personally, I love the slashers that take place in the woods but modern slasher throwbacks rarely take them back to camp.  The first Campground took the slashers back to the woods and offered up a fun, no budget slasher fair with a simple story and slasher kills.  Since then, Roman, Brandon, and Jack, the three behind Studio 605, have since grown as filmmakers and The Requel shows that growth.  The film still feels like a slasher but the character of Charlie is even more darker and menacing while the story itself ends like an early 80s slasher and the story does not follow that typical slasher formula.  The acting in this one is a vast improvement over the first film but still shows room for improvement.  The entire cast showed heart and dedication they just lacked the experience necessary to make their roles more believable.  With that being said, Marla Van Lanen was fucking intense.  Back in October I watched Dismembering Christmas and I remembered her performance as being awkward to watch.  However, she was far from that in this one.  She brought a lot of energy to her role and her character brought the story full circle.  We also get a small role from my future wife Ayse Howard.  Howard has been in many of the films I have reviewed for Concept Media and she is one talented actress.  The Requel brought on a new look for Howard and she really creeped me the fuck out.  Her character needs a follow up film and soon!  Finally, the film does have several kills but they are, sadly, not that entertaining.  Slashers are known for their simple, yet effective death scenes and The Campgroud: The Requel was a bit of a let down in that respect.  The practical effects are there but the kills are rather bland.  Overall, Campground: The Requel is a very dark sequel that also serves as a remake to Jossart's 2013 essential indie slasher.  The film is darker and shows how much the team over at Studio 605 has grown since releasing their first film almost 3 years ago.  This is a must for slasher fans and fans of indie horror.  Check it out!

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