My curioty certainly peaked when I learned of Jesse Eisenberg taking part in another genre offering; there’s something quite entertaining about the quirky young man, and I’m always up to see what he’ll bring to the screen. The problem with Camp Hell, is he didn’t bring a damn thing to the screen: his time was limited to a staggering three to four minutes. The presence of Eisenberg is a selling point and nothing more.
This story is so insanely awkward that it’s challenging just to attempt dissecting it. The general idea is that an evil spirit has overrun Camp Hope, possesng mentally susceptible youth, which in turn leads them to commit suicide. The message the film actually portrays is not that, and in providing that brief synops, I’m really, really reaching.
What Camp Hell brings to the table is an overtly evident lack of identity. This film never even pretends to honestly know where it’s headed. Amazingly, it’s still ridiculously pretentious: this film sure as hell tries to convince you it’s a deep, poetic, meaningful piece of art, when in fact, it’s a dull, dreary, lackluster piece of shit.
A few awkward dreams lineup potential terror, as the door is wide open for some gut wrenching claustrophobic shots and eerie creatures, but the cinematography is horrendous, and the editing massacres the sequences; pulling away before we can even get a firm grasp on what it is we’re seeing. What’s worse, these little fear teasers are so few and far between that we get lost in their message, and ultimately, just confused by their out-of-place nature.
There are some fair performances on hand, but they’re far from enough to save the picture. Those in front of the camera who fail to impress, do so in glaring fashion. Camp Hell is littered with amateur performances, and while that can often be overlooked, the outline and dialogue of these specific characters assasnate any chance of viewer leniency. These personalities are horribly offenve, crude in their character and delivery, and honestly, if you’re a religious fellow, you may want to avoid the film, as it’s likely to make you abandon any religious beliefs you may have had. It’s that terrible.
The films runtime falls at just about an hour and forty minutes. Believe it or not, an hour and twenty five of those is a bunch of cheeseball kids running around this odd fundamentalist camp surrounding, doing virtually… nothing, save for a hint of dry humping.
Take note, this trailer is better than the actual film