Camp Twilight follows six senior high school students who have been given the opportunity to make up for their failing grades by taking a weekend camping trip to a place called Camp Twilight (obviously). The students begrudgingly go with their principal Mr. Warner (Barry Jay Minoff of Among the Shadows and Looking Glass) and their annoyingly enthusiastic teacher Jessica (Felissa Rose of Sleepaway Camp fame). What starts out as a group of teenagers trying not to take everything seriously devolves into a panic-fueled nightmare full of murder and mayhem. While the teens attempt to figure out the mystery of Camp Twilight, the adults scramble to protect them against the dark legacy.
Camp Twilight, is as the title suggests, a must-see, slasher delight that I thoroughly enjoyed for several reasons. First off, the cast has diverse characters with fully fleshed out personalities. Especially as a person of color, whenever I see fellow POC in horror, I always have a hesitation, since the very real fear that they will just be archetypes is always lurking in the back of my mind. There are far too many horror movies that take particularly marginalized identities and turn these characters into ridiculous and offensive versions to be consumed by the viewer. Camp Twilight instead captures the authenticity of real people and the dialogue throughout is refreshingly, normal. That seems silly, but the conversations that people had between each other mirrored real discussions you would hear in real life. There are no over-explanations or exaggerated phrasing that makes no sense.
Another concept that Camp Twilight hits right on the head is the constant suspense and drama throughout the film. Without giving away the twist, I actually had no idea who the slasher was until a chance scene where the lighting was just right. I was so shocked and even when the twist was revealed I was absolutely floored as the movie did not give any indication and without that scene, I would have been clueless. Camp Twilight does such a great job covering its tracks and not showing its hand that the third act is simply delightful.
Speaking of lighting, that is the only major flaw in Camp Twilight, the lighting is too bright and breaks the fantasy at certain points. From the views of the location where Camp Twilight was filmed, it appears that the actual park would be insanely dark, but the lights overcompensate a little too much. Scenes that are supposed to be in the later hours of the night are questionable as far as time because of the staging and the lighting. Although this could be a product of budgeting or access to certain equipment, I think balancing and playing with shadows would have given Camp Twilight the extra edge it needed. The film features great performances, a fantastic storyline, and excellent comic relief, but with some editing love, it would be a well-crafted masterpiece.
Overall, Camp Twilight is a refreshing, unique slasher that I think all horror fans will enjoy for the spooky season. Catch it on digital platforms on 11/01/2020.
WICKED RATING: 8/10