We here at HorrorFacts wanted to offer up a slightly different take on the standard horror movie review. Horror fans and what they love are often as different as horror genres and what makes them unique in their own rights. Therefore we will be taking a look at Camp Twilight (2020) from the perspectives of two of our writers with very different tastes in horror.
Ian McGee’s Review of Camp Twilight (2020)
“After discovering they are at risk of failing to graduate, 6 students agree to a weekend camping trip for extra credit. Lead by their teachers, Ms. Bloom and Mr. Warner, the students arrive at Camp Twilight and discover its past. The park has a dangerous and notorious history, and the students soon discover these stories are more than just urban legends. After a series of “accidents”, the remaining group discovers they are being hunted and must stick together to survive CAMP TWILIGHT.”
Camp Twilight (2020) was written by its director Brandon Amelotte (Life Just Happened) and by Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp, Krampus: The Devil Returns). The movie releases directly to VOD/Streaming platforms from Dark Coast, the horror division of Tri Coast Entertainment on November 1st 2020.
Camp Twilight’s cast features two notable veteran actresses, Felissa Rose and Linnea Quigley (The Return of The Living Dead, Silent Night Deadly Night) as well as actors Dave Sheridan (Scary Movie, Ghost World) and Vernon Wells (Mad Max 2, Weird Science).
I recently had the opportunity to watch Camp Twilight, and I have to admit I am torn at the prospect of writing a movie review after having screened it. I don’t have the ability to personally speak to Felissa Rose or Brandon Amelotte to ask them whether this movie was intended to be funny or scary, but I think that the answer would have helped me as a viewer.
I am personally a fan of Felissa Rose and have been ever since her role in 1983’s cult classic movie Sleepaway Camp. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her but she appears to be beloved by fans from all over due to her personality and kindness towards them at Horror conventions and events. With that being said, I’ll still do my best to objectively relate some of my thoughts and opinions on Camp Twilight.
If the intention was to make a comedy/horror then I can give the movie and its actors some wiggle room. If however, the goal was to produce anything even remotely scary then that would be a different thing altogether. The plot has more holes than a spaghetti strainer and the overall storytelling ability of the movie was way off target in my opinion.
Imagine if you will, an X-rated adult movie that’s had all of its explicit sex scenes edited or removed so it can be shown with an R-rating on a late-night cable tv channel in a more conservative area of the country. That is precisely the overall look, style, and feel of Camp Twilight in my opinion.
It feels like a silly low-budget movie that was made in hopes of it being picked up by a subscriber based platform to recover production costs, make some profit and maybe get lucky and become a cult classic of some sort. Unfortunately, there are not a ton of qualities to this movie that I loved with the exception of a few laughs and the nostalgic aspect of seeing familiar faces including Felissa Rose, Linnea Quigley, and Dave Sheridan.
The supporting actor’s performances were of all of varying quality ranging from terrible to acceptable. Again, there were a few decently acted scenes however a lot of the scenes were the result of a bad script, direction, or just plain bad acting.
Conversely, the movie is not without some positive aspects as well. Felissa Rose did a great job for the most part portraying the overly bubbly and optimistic teacher to the group of students. There were some really fun segments with her playing the cheerful yet out of touch adult amongst a small group of troubled teenagers.
Besides Felissa Rose’s role, my favorite actor in this movie is Dave Sheridan, who is perhaps best known for his role as Doofy in Scary Movie (2000). Sheridan plays Bob Sheridan who is a bit of a bumbling but well-intentioned Park Ranger at Camp Twilight. Sheridan’s comedic timing is very good and in my opinion, he’s capable of really doing some great work in comedy should he be given the opportunity.
Linnea Quigley’s appearance in Camp Twilight was more of a brief cameo than anything else. Some of the pre-premier buzz I had read about Camp Twilight made me think there would be some sort of interaction between the two Scream Queens, but sadly there was not. This would have been cool just because they are both veterans from iconic horror movies however the storyline didn’t involve the two of them recognizably interacting onscreen.
The technical aspects of Camp Twilight are an easy target for critique so I will keep it brief and not be overly harsh. Cinematography was okay, considering the low budget location(s) used. Lighting was done fairly well also considering locations used. Audio and sound effects were inconsistent and seriously needed improvement. The lack of post-production attention to detail in regards to sound and effects was noticeable as a viewer. Physical makeup effects were on par with a student film and also could have been much better as well.
Remember a couple of paragraphs back when I referred to an X-rated movie that had the graphic sex parts cut out of it in order to make it less sexy and more viewable to a wider audience? Well, in the case of Camp Twilight, having MORE nudity would have made the movie feel a bit more fun and lighthearted in my opinion. Surprisingly, there is only one brief scene with nudity in this movie which actually feels like it should have had more to go along with the characters and storyline in general.
In summation, I feel like Camp Twilight could be interpreted in different ways by different types of viewers. In my opinion, I would have enjoyed this movie much more with a group of friends, drinking beer, and sharing our comments about the movie out loud together as a group rather than as a solo viewer.
Joey’s Review of Camp Twilight (2020)
Camp Twilight, the new slasher movie from TriCoast Studios see’s Felissa Rose return to camp. The movie, co-written by Felissa Rose, appears to draw some inspiration from the true story of Florida school teacher Danielle Harkins. Harkins is notorious for making seven of her students attend an impromptu field trip on a Saturday night in St. Petersburg. Despite this original concept, Camp Twilight, seemed to resort to cliché slasher movie techniques; essentially bringing nothing new to the genre.
The movie opens with an information dump in the form of a breaking news broadcast. We learn that tonight is the 30th Anniversary since the murdering spree of fourteen people at Camp Twilight. It is believed that the murders started after the drowning of Richard Thomas, a man whose body was never discovered. The park has since been reopened under new management and “elevated security.”
Not long after the opening sequence, we witness our first cliché slasher movie murder of two sexually active teens.
The teen’s campsite is later discovered in the restricted area of the park, by the Park Ranger Bob (Dave Sheridan). Suspecting there has been a murder he calls the police. The matter however is quickly dismissed, as there is no evidence to suspect anything even took place at the campsite.
Following this murder, we are introduced to six students who have been held after class. They are informed by their teacher Jessica Bloom (Felissa Rose) and Principal Warner that they are at risk of not graduating. They are given the opportunity to earn extra credit if they attend a school “sleep away field trip,” at Camp Twilight.
Our six students, Miss Bloom and Principal Warner arrive at the camp with an additional teacher, Mrs. Monique, who resembles an adult film star more than a teacher.
The entire second act of the movie is about getting to know our main cast. In typical slasher movie fashion, all the teens with the exception of one (our final girl) are portrayed as being promiscuous and troubled teens.
At about the fifty-four-minute mark we get our first on screen kill of one of our main cast. Her absence is soon realized and another student is blamed for her disappearance. Another character in a slasher movie blamed for something they didn’t do. Really breaking new ground here…
A search party is formed to look for the missing camper and no surprise to anyone this is when the body count starts to rise, as one by one our campers are picked off. Early into the killing spree, the movie reveals a twist about our killer that had already been obvious to the viewer.
Soon we are left with only two campers who are taken hostage by our killer. We proceed to get the stereotypical villain monologue and enlightened that everything was because of our final girl. Here the movie hits us with another twist, this one not so obvious.
The movie leaves us with a confusing ending and with a sensation of what was the point of all this.
B-horror slasher films often times make for a good watch. Their over the top premise, gore and dialogue make for some enjoyable moments. Camp Twilight unfortunately didn’t bring anything interesting to the table. A lot of this is due to the acting of the six main teens. The dull delivery of many of their lines made it hard to ever become invested in these characters. The special effects budget for this movie also looked like it consisted of a trip to Spirit of Halloween.
Felissa Rose and Dave Sheridan tried to carry the movie with their larger than life personas on screen, but it wasn’t enough to breathe any life into this flat movie.
Ian McGee. Gen X. Equal parts Man-Child/Cuddly Bear/Fierce defender of the weak. Dad and Husband. Lover of movies, music, jokes, food, good booze, and great conversation. Hello to any and all of my fellow horror movie aficionados out there on the ol’ inter-webs.
I have come here to chew bubblegum and write horror, and I’m all out of bubblegum.
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