Sleepaway Camp (1983) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Sleepaway Camp (1983) Review

Horrorific content by Yo Adrian on April 02nd, 2020 | Movie Review | Slasher, Cult Classic, Campy, Teen

It's about an orphaned girl who has one hell of a time at summer camp with her cousin, a pedophile and a bunch of bitchy bullies.

Sleepaway Camp was directed by Robert Hiltzik (who also directed Return To Sleepaway Camp) and stars Jonathan Tiersten (from The Perfect House), Karen Fields (from Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor) and the horror legend Felissa Rose (from many fun horrors including Victor CrowleyFamily PossessionsNo Solicitors, Camp Dread, The Perfect HouseUnder Surveillance, Sleepaway Camp 4Rootwood and Ugly Sweater Party)

"(Angela's) a real carpenters dream. Flat as a board and needs a screw!"  

Sleepaway Camp is one of the greatest 80's horror cult classics ever. Not only is it a quality well-rounded slasher with loads of suspense and engaging characters, but it also happens to have THE most legendary twist endings in all of horror. You might have already seen it, if not you've probably have at least heard of it. Either way, All Horror isn't about to spoil it. Just trust me, if you haven't seen it, go see it.

Unlike loads of 80's slashers, Sleepaway Camp is not a ripoff of Friday the 13th or any other commonly ripped off classics. Sure, it takes place at a summer camp, but it's nothing like Camp Crystal Lake. According to director Robert Hiltzik, the camps location was just a matter of practicality. It was full of potential filming locations (cabins, lake, woods) all at one site. And with a small budget mostly comprised of his moms life insurance money, it was important to stretch every green dollar.

The movie is about a young girl named Angela who was traumatized after a boating accident killed her family. She's shuffled off to live with her cousin who pulls her along to his summer camp. Angela is played by the now beloved horror icon Felissa Rose. Her character is super quiet, making her role minimal, but very effective.

Sleepaway Camp is such a fun movie, start to finish. It's a nostalgic throwback to a simpler life gone by and is full of colorful characters, many of which are so obnoxious (mostly in a good way) that you just can't wait for their kill scenes. And man oh man, those kill scenes. They're all very creative and all very satisfying. Two of my favorites in particular involve a curling iron and a bee hive. That curling iron scene, it's been permanently burned into my long term memory (also in a good way).

Some of the movie is shot from the killers point of view, like Black Christmas and Halloween, which adds to the mystery. There's constant guessing of who the killer might be and virtually everyone is a suspect at one point or another. I know this sounds like every other movie ever, but trust me, Sleepaway Camp does it right.

Worth Watching? 

Yes. Without a doubt, yes. It's an 80's slasher with a cheesy vibe, but once you see that ending you'll know that it's the full package. It's the kind of movie that might seem basic at first, but ends up bouncing around your brain for days.

Sleepaway Camp Review (1983) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it


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