Awesome Terrible Movie: Sleepaway Camp

“Sleepaway Camp” is a cult classic slasher film released in 1983, directed by Robert Hiltzik. Known for its shocking twist ending and memorable kills, the film has garnered a dedicated following in the horror genre. Please note that this review contains spoilers.


The story centers around Angela Baker, a shy and introverted teenage girl who survived a traumatic boating accident that claimed the lives of her father and sibling. Following this tragedy, Angela is sent to Camp Arawak, a summer camp for children, along with her eccentric cousin Ricky. Camp Arawak is like any other summer camp, complete with pranks, adolescent crushes, and a cast of quirky characters.

As Angela and Ricky settle into camp life, a series of gruesome murders begin to occur. The victims are primarily camp staff and other campers, and their deaths are depicted in a particularly gruesome manner. The local authorities attempt to investigate, but the mysterious killer’s identity remains hidden.

As the body count continues to rise, the film takes a closer look at the interpersonal dynamics within the camp. Angela is relentlessly teased and bullied by her fellow campers, and she remains almost entirely mute throughout the film, heightening her sense of vulnerability. Ricky, on the other hand, is protective of his cousin and frequently gets into confrontations with the bullies.

The tension at Camp Arawak escalates as the killer’s identity becomes more enigmatic. Suspicions shift from one character to another, including the camp’s eccentric chef and the camp’s owner, Mel Costic, who is overly concerned with his business’s reputation. There is also a subplot involving a pedophilic camp counselor, adding an additional layer of suspense and intrigue.

Towards the climax of the film, the identity of the killer is shockingly revealed in a disturbing twist: Angela is the murderer. Her transformation from a seemingly innocent and mute girl into a homicidal maniac is revealed as the camp owner discovers her in the act of killing. The film ends with a startling and haunting close-up of Angela’s face.


“Sleepaway Camp” is a low-budget slasher film that has earned its cult status for its memorable kills and the shocking twist ending. The movie captures the essence of 1980s horror, complete with the camp setting and a cast of colorful characters. Angela’s character is haunting and unforgettable, and the film effectively builds tension as the body count rises and suspicions shift.

While the film has its share of campy moments and dated special effects, it remains a noteworthy entry in the slasher genre. The twist ending is one of the most shocking in horror film history and has become the stuff of legend among horror fans. “Sleepaway Camp” is not for the faint of heart, as it includes graphic violence and unsettling themes.

Ultimately, “Sleepaway Camp” is a must-watch for horror aficionados who appreciate the genre’s classic and unconventional elements. It’s a film that has left a lasting impact on the horror genre and continues to be discussed and debated among fans to this day.

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Author: guyute