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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty terrible movie I'm glad I saw.
The imposing photo and name of Jesse Eisenberg on the cover might lead one to think this is a movie starring Eisenberg. It is not. He has a slightly inflated cameo, which he handles just fine, but it is no reason to see the DVD.

The acting is uneven, the movie fails as horror, the story is a bit of a mess, and the musical score is awful. The filming is...
Published on August 10, 2011 by Kindle Customer

versus
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a horror movie!!!
This movie is nothing but super crazy christian extremist propaganda. I am 100% certain that anyone who gave this film five stars has something to do with the film. The movie wasn't worth watching for free let alone buying.

Basically this kids commits a few very small sins so satan starts messing with his head and tormenting people around him. There is maybe a...
Published on August 17, 2011 by Smith


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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a horror movie!!!, August 17, 2011
This review is from: Camp Hell (DVD)
This movie is nothing but super crazy christian extremist propaganda. I am 100% certain that anyone who gave this film five stars has something to do with the film. The movie wasn't worth watching for free let alone buying.

Basically this kids commits a few very small sins so satan starts messing with his head and tormenting people around him. There is maybe a whole five minutes of the stuff that is suppose to be scary, the rest is just crazy christians preaching about how every little thing is a sin.

Candy = sin, rock music = sin, anything about teen pop culture = sin, kissing a girl = sin, a girl talking to a boy alone = sin(and makes the girl a whore).

I don't know why Jesse Eisenberg is on the cover, he's only about five minutes of the film.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Servicable After-School Special Badly Sexed Up in Editing, September 5, 2011
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This review is from: Camp Hell (Amazon Instant Video)
I'm not surprised that the other reviews for this movie seem to be split 50/50 as to whether it is pro- or anti-Christian propaganda, but confused that no one seems to have grasped what's really going on here--Camp Hell (I wonder what the working title was?) is obviously a serviceable after-school-special-esque issue film about the dangers of extremist Christian doctrine when foisted on the tender minds and hormones of teens (I suspect the sect that runs the camp was cast as Catholic so as not to draw the rants of the actual Protestant camps that exist in a similar form) that couldn't find release unless the makers agreed to let the releasing company hire editors to sex it up (and very badly, I might add) by intercutting laughable demon footage stolen from another movie. Fairly certain all the scenes where possession is discussed, including Eiseberg's, were shot and edited in in post-production as well.

Because of this, nothing about this movie makes a lick of sense. It's a shame, really, because the lead performances by the teens in camp are strong and the basic message, that religious indoctrination ignores the realities of life, is a solid one.

Will add that this movie makes me wonder if Andrew McCarthy was ALWAYS this bad, and no one noticed back in the 80s because everyone was just as jacked up on coke as he seems to be naturally.

Anyway...skip it, unless you enjoy the frustrations of imagining the nightmare that must have been played out between the director, writer, and ham-handed editors.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WHEN DID SIN ENTER YOUR LIFE?, August 20, 2011
This review is from: Camp Hell (DVD)
Jesse Eisenberg does appear in the movie, but not for long. The movie seems to confuse Christian denominational theology. Traditional Catholics do not believe in "end-time" signs and prophecy. While they do believe in purgatory, they are not that big into it as they used to be. Tommy is connected to a demon, but we aren't sure how and why. There are a bunch of kids at Christian summer camp which is comical as a comic book is torn up and a Journey CD is the instrument of the devil. Tommy keeps asking the question, "If God is in control why is there a devil?" The priest asks Tommy, "When did you let sin into your life?" Of course masturbation is one of Tommy's "gateway" sins. Who knows where it might lead...

The sex scene consists of two teens (one a 16 year old virgin "harlot") dry humping in the dark.

I will say I was confused by the ending and the message of the movie. Is this an atheist movie or a movie whose message is that Satan uses long drawn out conversions to create atheists by manifesting himself as a demon? Does the movie really mean to say Steve Perry is a demon seed, or makes fun of those who do?

As a serious Christian movie, I would give it one star. As a movie that makes fun of Christians...maybe 2 stars.

No nudity, or gosh darn swearing. Dry humping, references to rock group "Journey" and Spawn comic book. Kids almost eating jelly beans. What I really can't believe is the "R" rating. As Sara might tweet, "WTF?"
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mislead and Seriously Disappointed, August 17, 2011
By 
Adam (United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Camp Hell (DVD)
The cover is misleading, Jesse Eisenberg, is barely in this film. My assumption based on the rest of the movie is that they blew nearly all their budget on getting Jesse Eisenberg to do a 5 minute shot at the beginning of the film, and a 5 second flashback (same footage), followed by a 15 second shot.

The rest of the film was pretty much a train wreck. I kept watching the movie waiting for the "horror". I could have just watched the trailer again, because that's nearly all of the horror in the film. Well if you don't count watching the film itself a "horror".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars should be 0 stars - doesn't give the option, September 17, 2011
This review is from: Camp Hell (DVD)
Absolute WORST horror movie that I've ever seen - do not waste this amount of your life on this movie even if it's free - I can't believe I watched the whole thing waiting for 1 MINUTE of horror - this movie is worse than the lowest budget $4000 movie ever made. Ignore the star names - they are in the movie for less than 3 minutes and DON'T EVEN HAVE NAMES!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars good actors; script goes in too many directions, August 15, 2011
By 
This review is from: Camp Hell (DVD)
They put Jesse Eisenberg's face on the dvd cover to sell it, but he is barely in it. The other actors are great even in the smaller roles, but the problem is that the writer/director is writing several different films, and none of them gets fair treatment. Is this a coming-of-age story, a slasher film set in the camp or woods, or is it an anti-religious or pro-religious treatment? It is really hard to say, since none of these threads gets picked up and carried anywhere. Will the young man remain with his family even though he loses belief? What happened to the priest by the end? Will the young gal ever be seen again? Why bother showing the bullies in the forest since they don't have much to do with the story? What was with the demon visions?

Too many things to ponder with no real answers.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hell No., August 11, 2011
By 
M. Grant (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Camp Hell (Amazon Instant Video)
Offensive, preachy, judgemental Christian propaganda disguised as a horror film.

Despite the cover, this is not a Jesse Eisenberg movie. Nor does it contain any horror. I was mis-lead, lied to and manipulated. Ironically, something the Devil is very good at doing.

I should've used the $3.99 to buy a "Spawn" comic book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars FALSE CAMP, March 20, 2012
This review is from: Camp Hell (DVD)
There are a number of things a DVD manufacturer can do to entice a viewer to watch their product. They can pay out the nose for advertising. They can use viral teasers to get people talking. Or they can take a name star that is in a movie made long ago, paste his/her face on the cover and pretend that this is who stars in their film. Such is the case with CAMP HELL.

Look at the cover and what do you see? Jesse Eisenberg front and center. Having risen to star status with the films ZOMBIELAND and THE SOCIAL NETWORK, he has become a marketable commodity. And even though his scenes in this film are perhaps less than 10 minutes tops, its his name and image that will sell the picture. When these sorts of things happen it doesn't bode well for what the final product actually is and while this movie does raise some interesting questions, it seems more determined to be a hatchet job than a give and take film concerning religion.

The film opens by letting us know that there is an extreme religious group known as the Community. Its members won't allow others to leave and if they do so continues to hound them. These few written words depict the group as a cult and the rest of the film continues to do so. Would I join them? No but then this depiction is as extreme as it can be.

We meet the Leary family headed by strict and stern father Michael (Andrew McCarthy) and mother Patricia (Dana Delany). Their oldest son Tommy is about to go to church camp. Hitting that golden age of puberty, he is beaten down emotionally and mentally to follow their rules.

The camp is a mix of boys and girls that are kept separated but within sight of one another. They mingle during select events. And all the campers are told that it is a sin to simply ogle a member of the opposite sex. Which made me wonder the whole time, if they're so concerned about them meeting in the dark or getting together then why have them all at the same location during the same week? Why not boys one week and girls the next? But then that wouldn't have led to any confrontations moving the film along.

Tommy and his friends joke around, make fun of the slow witted kid and can't stand their cabin counselor, a stick in the mud who displays a holier than thou attitude from the start. Given the rules you know that eventually one of these guys is going to break them and since Tommy has a thing for Melissa most bets would land on him. Those best would have paid off if you placed one.

At the same time all of this is going on, Tommy is having an inner conflict when it comes to faith. He's questioning his faith as most teens do at this age. But rather than discuss this conflict, the man in charge, Father Phineus McCallister (Bruce Davison) continues to tell the kids to think impure thoughts is a sin and to repent. Masturbation is a constant theme that he talks about and tells them all to avoid. The way these kids behave you know his plea is falling on deaf ears.

But Tommy's case is more than just jitters. There is the possibility that there is a demon determined to possess Tommy. And this demon is not new to Father McCallister. Tah dah! This is how Eisenberg fits in. Earlier in the film we saw him talking to the good Father from a mental institution, filled with fear for McCallister. Drawing images of black soulless looking creatures they look the same as things Tommy has drawn.

And here's where the interesting part comes into play. As the movie progresses we're never quite sure if there truly is a demon involved here or if it's just psychological turmoil inspired by the preaching that is going on. By the end of the film we're still unsure.

While some will think this is a horror film by the looks of the cover, don't be misled. It's more a religious film. And the depiction of anyone who believes in God is a negative one. Believers are to be mocked as extremists. Are there such groups? I don't doubt it. But this is never the case here and we're made to believe that this is the norm for fundamentalist Christians rather than the exception. Only those who turn their back on this group seem well adjusted.

It does raise some good questions about faith and beliefs but rather than take a route where these are discussed, questioning is forbidden and leads to excommunication. Had they taken that route, perhaps the movie might have offered a better balanced view of beliefs, convinced viewers that there are extremists out there. Instead by painting all with one shade of black, it makes you wonder about the beliefs of those behind the film instead.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty terrible movie I'm glad I saw., August 10, 2011
By 
This review is from: Camp Hell (DVD)
The imposing photo and name of Jesse Eisenberg on the cover might lead one to think this is a movie starring Eisenberg. It is not. He has a slightly inflated cameo, which he handles just fine, but it is no reason to see the DVD.

The acting is uneven, the movie fails as horror, the story is a bit of a mess, and the musical score is awful. The filming is indifferent and the pacing is a frustrating stumble down an unmarked path.

So why four stars?

In several individual scenes, "Hell Camp" does an excellent job of capturing what some of these mainstream-but-culty religious retreats or camps can be like psychologically in a way that no fictional story has. Jesus Camp, the documentary, of course does an even better job of capturing the atmosphere of such places, but for those who are curious about such things but just don't like documentaries, "Hell Camp" ("based on actual events") brings you halfway to an understanding.

Having attended similar camps and retreats myself--coming out of a charismatic Protestant tradition, whereas this camp is Catholic and apparently charismatic judging by the prophetic utterances, "slaying in the spirit," and other hallmarks--the writer/director got the words, the look, and the feeling just right. The cloying, claustrophobic atmosphere of the camp is far creepier and more unsettling than anything related to the vague "demonic" entity (the movie wisely leaves open the interpretation of the story to either supernatural or psychiatric causes for the events). And the practically fetishistic obsession with sexuality rings true, too. Oh, and also the complete uselessness of the threats and promises in making teens attracted to each other remain entirely "chaste." And the emotional aftermath of harsh condemnation of some relatively harmless fumblings near a horse paddock.

So...don't see "Hell Camp" if you're just an Eisenberg fan or are in the mood for a ripping horror yarn. But for a peek inside the cultish, manipulative, emotionally unhealthy atmosphere of ultra-religious camps and retreats (which reminded me of nothing so much as my teen experience with a Teens Encounter Christ, or TEC, retreat), I'm unaware of any other movie that captures the vibe more accurately.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars SNOOZEFEST, November 4, 2011
By 
This review is from: Camp Hell (DVD)
CAMP HELL is not a horror movie and even though Jesse Eisenberg's face is featured prominently on the DVD's cover, he isn't in the movie very much.
The film's focus is on a charismatic Catholic church camp led by a fiercely fundamentalist priest played by Bruce Davison. Will Denton (from the FRIGHT NIGHT remake) plays a teenager who lusts after Melissa, a fellow campmate. Of course, this is considered a grave sin and Melissa leaves the camp in shame. Meanwhile, Denton has disturbing dreams involving some kind of demon.
CAMP HELL is tedious and quite dull. Based on "true events" the movie is talky, preachy and muddled in what it's trying to say. It's misleading marketing as a horror movie will certainly disappoint its targeted market. But as a film goes, it's just horrible.
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Camp Hell
Camp Hell by George VanBuskirk (DVD - 2011)
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