“Sleepaway Camp” was originally released in 1983 during the heyday of slasher film. The film received moderate success during its theatrical run but found a loyal cult following upon its release to VHS.
The film follows estranged loner, Angela and, she and her cousin, Ricky, head off to summer camp. Angela is painfully introverted and does not make friends easily which leaves her open to being tormented and picked on by many of the fellow campers.
In one bizarre and rather unsettling scene, the camp cook attempts to molest Angela but is stopped just in time by Ricky who rescues Angela and takes her to safety. However, things do not end well for Artie who has scalding hot water poured on him by a shadowy figure, leading to his demise.
Artie’s death is ruled a terrible accident by the camp owner and is apparently brushed under the rug and forgotten about by all camp attendees. Angela’s torment does not relent though and her teasing ultimately leads to a fight between two groups.
Ricky and his friend Paul come to Angela’s aid. Paul and Angela seem to hit it off and become an item with Paul asking Angela to attend a movie with him at camp.
Things do not go so well for one of the members in the other group. While swimming he is drowned by an unseen figure only to have his body found the next day. Again this incident is chalked up as a terrible accident by the camp owner.
Paul and Angela fall into a bit of trouble when Paul’s advances are pushed away as Angela experiences a rather bizarre flashback that is better seen then described. Paul does not wait long after the brush off from Angela. He finds another camper to makeout with in the woods only to have Angela discover the tryst.
Many slasher tropes are followed throughout the film with red herrings being planted not very convincingly. However, the kills are impressive and despite the faults of the movie it is highly enjoyable and you will find yourself watching it repeatedly.
The film has built a large cult following for being one of the most shocking slasher films and not in a violent images manner. The implied incest and child molestation are some of the shocking elements but the real head turner occurs at the very end of the film.
If you have not seen “Sleepaway Camp” but love slasher movies it is mandatory to watch it as soon as possible, but do not watch it with anyone that will give away the ending, it simply must be experienced!