Summer Camp’s premise may not be initially exciting…a group of Americans arrive at a remote Spanish summer camp to work as counsellors. As they settle down to prepare for the kid’s arrivals an unknown, rage inducing virus begins to spread.
Those that become infected turn into wild animals’ intent on killing anything that moves. The remote nature of the camp means no help is coming & the disease is spreading.
It’s a story that we’ve seen before mixing elements of 28 Days Later/28 weeks Later with standard zombie fare but turns out to be a much more exciting ride.
Starting off slowly we’re introduced to the main cast, a mixed bunch with little defining characteristics. These aren’t exactly characters you’re going to care too much about at first but when the film gets going it really pulls you in. You see what makes Summer Camp somewhat original is that the effects of the virus wear off.
At first this might seem like a silly idea but when the origins of the disease are revealed later (it’s pretty clever too) it all makes sense. This twist on a standard rage/zombie virus really makes it a much more exciting movie to watch. It adds more tension to an already tense situation & the movie never lets up. You rarely have time to breathe as people succumb to the disease or wake up from it with no memories of what they’ve done.
The acting is top stuff, the characters switching from roaring, super-violent creatures to docile humans scared for their lives worrying about what they might do if they change again. It creates an incredible problem where simply killing the monster isn’t necessarily an option because they will come back from it.
There are many ‘on the edge of your seat’ moments where loyalties are tested & betrayals hurt even more. One such scene sees one character under assault from an infected who is breaking through the chain link fence that separates them. In her desperation, she unlocks the door to the building where another infected is smashing their way in. As she does it she apologises to the infected believing that they will attack each other resulting in one of them dying & giving her a chance to escape.
Instead the two-infected stare at each other, scream a bit then turn to attack her instead! It’s fantastically done & even has a slight edge of humour to a very dark movie.
Visually it looks great, the gore flows & every bit of violence looks like it hurts. The effects of the virus on the body is visceral & nasty to see. The movie can’t be faulted there but where it can be faulted is with the camera work…unfortunately the film relies a little too heavily on shaky camera work & at times it’s hard to focus on the action that is actually occurring.
In lesser movies, it would be a seriously negative that would make it unwatchable but here it’s something that is worth putting up with because it is such a good horror movie.
From the moment, the virus takes effect to the final scene, Summer Camp is a wild ride that doesn’t let you down. It’s one of the better modern rage virus/zombie movies for a long time with an ending that will put a huge smile on your face.
Give this a watch, you won’t be disappointed.
The Final Score - 8/10
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