DVD Review: Camp Hell Simon Fitzjohn November 5, 2011 DVDs & Rentals 1995 Starting off well before sinking into a pool of religious mumbo-jumbo and sluggishly-paced scenes,Camp Hell is unlikely to feature prominently on any of the stars’ acting resumes. Now that may surprise you from the DVD sleeve, which features none other than Jesse Eisenberg staring intently back at you. The problem with that? Well, Eisenberg is in this for all of about five minutes, and is certainly not a major character. That has not stopped canny marketing folk in the past though, and will probably not stop them doing it again in the future. The set-up for this flick is interesting enough – a religious group known as ‘the community’ have a summer camp each year, where their kids get packed off to some log cabins, overseen by hardcore priest Father McAllister (Bruce Davison). McAllister is having a tough time though, troubled by the attempted murder/suicide of a former regular (Eisenberg), who was supposedly in contact with a demon. All that is put to one side though when the camp opens for the summer once more, ready for plenty of bible-bashing and not even the slightest whiff of fun. The key kids this time around are Tommy Leary (Will Denton) and his potential squeeze Melissa (Valentina de Angelis) – although any mixing of sexes is very much forbidden. In fact even the thought of sex is enough to send Father McAllister into a rage – with endless references to masturbation being a sin etc. Anyhow, turns out Tommy is also suffering from hallucinations and dreams of demons etc, which somehow connect back to the previous events involving the priest. All this eventually builds to a climax of sorts with demonic appearances, moving statues and the like, but do not expect to have everything explained. In fact, this is one of the key problems with the movie – it reeks of having been chopped and changed and ends up pleasing nobody. Things do not really make sense a lot of the time and you are never really sure exactly what is going on. The set-up is interesting enough, and religion has certainly been the backdrop to some horror classics down the years, but this loses its way big-time in the mid-section and becomes more teen romance than anything else. Nobody stands out on the acting front, although along with Eisenberg you also get Dana Delany and Andrew McCarthy thrown in for good measure. Special mention must also go out to the score for the film – one of the most grating, inappropriate and frankly pathetic soundtracks I have ever had the misfortune of listening to. CampHell(or Camp Hope as it is also known) is certainly not hell to sit through, but chances are you will not be entertained.