Camp Cold Brook (2018)

Movie Title: Camp Cold Brook

Year Released: 2018

Rated: Not Rated

Runtime: 1h 26m

Genre: Horror

Director: Andy Palmer

Writer: Alex Carl

Starring: Danielle Harris, Chad Michael Murray, Courtney Gains, Cate Jones, Michael Eric Reid, Candice De Visser, Mary Kathryn Bryant, Doug Van Liew, Mary Buss, Loren Ledesma,

Review: When their reality show Haunt Squad faces cancellation host Jack Wilson (Chad Michael Murray) and producer Angela (Danielle Harris) attempt to reinvigorate the ratings by filming an episode at the infamous Camp Cold Brook. It was the site of an unspeakable mass murder decades earlier and now this abandoned summer camp will host and horrify the crew of this "ghost hunting" television series. Can these seekers of the supernatural save their show or will it cost them their lives in the process? This ghost story may chill you to the bone so be sure to get closer to the campfire when you spend a spooky summer at Camp Cold Brook.

I'm a huge fan of director Joe Dante! From Piranha (1978) and Gremlins (1984) to The 'Burbs (1989) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), the man has made some quality films that have become staples of my childhood. With Camp Cold Brook, Dante, a graduate of the Roger Corman school of filmmaking, is paying it forward by mentoring young filmmakers trying to make it in the genre. That's awesome!

The cast does a great job, and it's easy to see why. With horror movie troupers like Danielle Harris (Halloween), Chad Michael Murray (House of Wax), and Courtney Gains (Children of the Corn), you know you're in good hands. Harris is especially good as she goes from scared to hysterical like only she can.

I did like the abandoned look and the foreboding mood as our protagonists search the cursed campground. It certainly made me keep scanning the screen for potential scares. And I did enjoy that this went more for scares based on the atmosphere and dread instead of going for the gore. However, this movie is a very slowburn, which I don't mind at all, but the tension building goes on a bit too long and the rotten reveals don't feel as earned as they should be. Much of how things turn out are rather convoluted, some are quite obvious, and have you saying "WHAT?" or "Really?" instead of "Aha!" I really wish this one turned out better. I had my fingers crossed, but was ultimately disappointed.

Camp Cold Brook is a ghost story that's nothing too original, but it had a good cast and a creepy atmosphere. The filmmakers definitely show some promise, but need a better script with a solid climax in their next outing. This might work for some, but I'd say skip it and visit Camp Granada instead.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: The script has a little fun at Executive Producer Joe Dante's expense. While driving to the camp, the gang is listening to a radio personality named Rockin' Ricky. Rockin' Ricky is also the name of the local disc jockey in Gremlins (1984). Dante directed both Gremlins and its sequel.


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