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Walk the Line

Camp Hell (Campe Hope)

What he said:

He

I can pretty much guarantee you that you’ve never heard of this one. I’ve seen it and still can’t quite figure how/when this movie came about. It popped up as a new release on our queue (for those of you complaining about Netflix there are other alternatives, such as Blockbuster Online), so we decided to give it a chance.

It was released in 2010, the same year The Social Network. Now I know Jesse Eisenberg wasn’t a big star until The Social Network, but it’s not like he was a nobody until its release. In 2009, he starred in Zombieland and Adventureland. The Social Network may have been his breakout role, but the other two easily laid the groundwork for that. They are respectable films that helped him go from a struggling actor to a household name.

What the hell was he doing slumming in this movie right around his breakout period? Andrew McCarthy and Dana Delaney, I get. Though both still work steadily, it’s not uncommon for middle-aged actors to take work wherever they can find it. But why was Eisenberg in this movie? I think an even bigger question is why he on the cover art? He’s in the movie for maybe 10 minutes.

The whole thing kind of seemed like a joke and I haven’t even gotten to the acting, plot, or any of the important stuff.

Long-story-short, this movie is about really religious folks who send their kids to camp; a camp designed specifically for extremely religious Christians. You know, the kind who don’t let their kids watch TV or go on the internet? One of these kids is Tommy (Will Denton), who seems to have a few issues. Yeah, he’s got your normal girl problems, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It would appear that Tommy may or may not be possessed!

This attracts the attention of Father Phineas (Bruce Davison), who runs the camp and is also something of a rock star within his little community. Everyone aims to please him and he knows it.

He tries to help Tommy rid himself of these demons, but strangely enough seems to think most of his problems are stemming from his lustful desires towards another camper named Melissa (Valentina de Angelis). He’s constantly probing Tommy about the nature of their relationship, as that is the only way Tommy can be set on the right path once again. This may sound rather disgusting and intrusive, but I can assure you that the movie isn’t good enough to come off that serious.  So, if you are anything like me, you’ll find yourself laughing at the whole thing. There is some genuine SyFy channel type of performances going on here folks.   

That is pretty much all the movie is good for, because the plot is paper thin. There are several parts that I laughed at, but when it boils right down to it, nothing really happened. It was a whole lot of walking around, feeling guilty, and sulking about what bad people they were (or so they’re told).

There’s also some insanely bad music that cracked me up.

Rating: Thumbs down .

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on September 29, 2011.

What she said:

She

I saw Jesse Eisenberg’s face plastered on the cover of this DVD and thought, I bet he would be great in a horror movie.  Shame Camp Hell isn’t actually a horror movie, not to mention the fact that Eisenberg is on screen for all of 30 seconds in this 99 minute snorefest. 

Camp Hell is about some crazy religious people who send their kids to a very wholesome co-ed camp every summer.  One of the kids, Tommy, is beginning to question his strict upbringing, and I guess because of this he’s become possessed.  Or is he possessed?  It’s never quite clear.  It’s more like they imply that he’s going to become possessed, but then you wait the entire movie for the devil to take over his soul and it never really happens.  Sorry, that’s a spoiler.  But here’s an even bigger spoiler.  This movie sucks.  And that’s one that you should thank me for because I’m saving you from wasting your time. 

Sure, there are lots of very laughable moments.  Not-so-gifted actors playing awkward teenagers with all kinds of emotions and desires they are forced to fight back.  The budget on this film feels like less than the price of the rental, and I wondered if it was produced by Lifetime or A&E.  The plot is filled with holes and has no linear path to it.  There is very little at stake and the ending is extremely anticlimactic.  Funny they categorize this as a horror/thriller.  There’s really not much of either.  I can say I was horrified, that’s the closest it gets. 

This is obviously the movie the Eisenberg sweeps under the rug.  I bet he cringes at the fact they marketed this with his name/likeness.  

Thumbs down.