Directed by: Thomas Burke / David Eimer
Written by: Thomas Burke / David Eimer
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Lauren and a few of her friends decide to visit her late uncle's ranch for some fun times partying and perhaps documenting the property and its myths. The place oozes local legend and none of it is good. What a perfect place to visit, drink and party! Armed with some cameras that seem prone to VHS style tape degradation and digital noise, the crew begin their adventure. Obviously, when documenting and filming an excursion a person must always use video cameras that are prone to glitching and strange digital noise. Or maybe it's a supernatural element causing so much interference; except for the fact there is nothing supernatural in this film. In case you haven't guessed it, this is a found footage movie so if this is your thing, you may enjoy this title much more than me.
Found footage, the bastard child of The Blair Witch Project. In its time, The Blair Witch film was revolutionary and presented itself as a real collection of footage. For so many reasons, including marketing, people got scared because they really didn't know if it was real or not. The gimmick worked, and worked well. Now, over 20 years later, it doesn't really work at all. That's not saying there are not a few FF titles flicking around that are good, but those are rare. Now, FF titles are a joke to many filmmakers because it's essentially anyone cooking up a film with no need to actually make it play well. That would go against the FF style. When a 5 year old can grab any phone, swing it around with the record button pressed and call it a film, is it any wonder?
Camping Fun doesn't quite fall into the category of badly made FF movies, but it also does little to bring itself to the front of the line. Lauren's ( Hailey Marmolejo ) character brings some friends to her late uncle's ranch, but her motives are far more sinister than they realize. Discovery and chaos ensue, and the friends all die - except Lauren. The cameras are found and edited together. Sounds familiar right? It also sounds like it could be an alright movie, for a found footage film. But then you have to ask yourself... why would the cameras be found? Why wouldn't Lauren have destroyed them? That one aspect alone is enough to make the film fall apart, yet it's far from the only story blunder in the film. From characters that are just plain unlikeable, to a silly scene involving some dancing in the corn... a lot just doesn't make any sense. Even the title of this flick is misleading, considering there is absolutely no camping involved in any way, shape, or form.
This film is 10 minutes of exactly what you think it is. A found footage film that taken for what it is, isn't all that bad. It just lacks anything to elevate it past the hordes of others. Story elements aside, there's some good editing (except for the tape glitches all the time) and good use of audio to heighten the mood. It's only when you stop to consider the story and actions of the characters that things get a little silly. But if you're into this style of movie, and looking for a quick hit, I've seen far, far worse.