2 April 2012 | Toronto85
Return to Sleepaway Camp
This was one I was really looking forward to seeing. It felt like it took years for it to be made and released. So when it was available to purchase I bought it at full price not knowing what a disappointment it would be. The plot follows the basic "kids are at camp when a bunch of murders occur" storyline. Fans of the original know the backstory of Angela so I won't go into that, but if you don't; it's probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with the 1983 film.
This sequel does something I hate which is it completely ignores Sleepaway Camp 2 and 3. We are supposed to forget those late eighties sequels which involved Angela escaping and becoming a counsellor killing a bunch of teenagers. By not bringing up the incidents that took place in these movies left me a little confused, but I'll move on from that negative. The next problem I have with this is the "lead" character Alan. What an annoying human being. He bullies other kids and then whines like a baby when he gets bullied or other camp counsellors tell him to stop. The constant whining, screaming and cursing was driving me nuts by the twenty minute mark. Now I loved the fact that Ricky in the original cussed like no other, but it's WAY overdone in this by Alan. And the acting by pretty much everyone involved is some of the worst I've seen since Troll 2.
What I found in this movie after seeing the original was that a lot of these new characters emulated characters from the original. There is Alan who is supposed to be a mix of Angela and Ricky, a character named Pee-Pee (I know right?) acts a lot like a shy Angela, there is even a nasty chef who gets scalded by boiling water. There are other parallels as well. Other cons are the music, which is mostly terrible and adds no suspenseful effect to the scene like the original score did in 1983. And the juvenile writing is just annoying to sit through. Some of the things the teens say and do is supposed to be funny but just leaves a bad taste in the viewers mouth, especially when the same joke is repeated over and over again.
I've been down on Return to Sleepaway Camp so far, and rightfully so; it isn't very good. BUT the ending definitely saves it from being a total letdown. The last half hour is jam packed with murder and mayhem. And some of the gore is pretty shocking and well done. Also, I liked the added mystery of trying to find out who the killer is (even if I thought the identity of the killer was a bit lame). And I loved seeing some of the original cast and characters return like Ricky (Jonathan Tiersten), Ronnie (Paul DeAngelo) and a "cameo" by Felicia Rose who played the original Angela Baker.
Overall, this movie is all over the place. It's almost as if Return to Sleepaway Camp has an identity crisis. The first SC was scary. Parts 2-3 were funny. This one tries to be a bit of both and, except for a good thirty minutes of scares, doesn't do well at either.