Monday, January 2, 2012

Return to Sleepaway Camp

Year: 2008
Director: Robert Hiltzik
Writer: Robert Hiltzik
Genre: Horror: Slasher

I think I liked this movie a lot more than I should have. For it to be a sequel some 20 years after the originals in the series came out... well, that usually spells doom. Somehow Return to Sleepaway Camp manages to be completely captivating.

The characters are once again young teens as opposed to the late teenaged cast of the 2nd and 3rd films. I'm glad this change was made because I couldn't for the life of me understand why 17-19 year olds would be going off to a summer camp. Does anyone of that age really do so unless they're a counselor? Oh well.

For the content of the movie I really like that it mostly seems to be a new start to the brand. It can basically be watched as someone's first jump into the Sleepaway Camp world but it works much better if you're a fan of the series, as the films do actually correlate. The campgoers themselves are all new though and they mostly all give realistic performances of stupid, mean teens.

I hate to harp on it but it still bothers me that the film finds a place to continue to rake Angela's character through the mud though by bringing up the whole "he" thing. Why is that still touted as a massively important fact of her existence? Apparently between the first and second film she has a "life-saving operation" which renders her physically female. While I see a problem with using that as the barometer of defining who is what as is, it seems like that really should settle the case for all the characters. But of course not. Angela may at this point in time have been living as a woman with a basically female body for 20 some years but they must still force the idea that she's "really a man".

For all the fussing I do over Angela I still really find myself enjoying the movies. Since the characters are relatively normal portrayals of kids, I found myself more interested in what was going on in their snotty little world. I never really empathized with any of the characters, but that's fine. It's just too bad Angela wasn't prominently in most of the film because she's always my favorite.

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