Campfire Tales (1998)
Director: David Semel/ Matt Cooper/ Martin Kunert
Jay R. Ferguson/Cliff
Four teens driving back from a concert crash the car and are left stranded in the woods. So they decide to make a fire, sit around it and tell scary stories.
This movie has four stories plus the wraparound story with the teens. The first story "The Hook" is a time filler set in the 50’s and it’s not even worth mentioning. The second story "The Honeymoon" is mostly about a couple banging in an RV. They run out of gas (come on) and are stranded in the woods. Then we’re served every horror cliché in the book, from the fake suspense, the weird dude that warns them and some poor actor trying to be scary in a ten dollar Halloween costume ZZZzzz. The third story had potential. Called "People Can Lick Too", it’s about a 12 year old girl, home alone, who gets stalked by one of those sick child molester kind of pervs she met on the net (he pretends to be a child on the net) They came close with this one…the setup was great, execution decent but the ending was such a letdown…all the buildup for nothing.
The fourth story "The Locket" was my favorite….it’s about a young wanderer who gets caught in the rain, goes to an old isolated house, meets this beautiful mute girl and yes they fall in love. Too bad there’s all this weird stuff going on…namely ghosts. That story came through, mainly because of the strength of the lead actors (I’ll get back to that). And then we wrap with our campfire kids again. It’s a surprise ending…an ending you won’t see coming. If more effort would have been put in the stories, giving us something different and original this movie could have been pretty good. But unfortunately that’s not the case. All about clichés and lazy writing. Now I have a story for you…
Very tame, the story with the most red is ironically the crappiest one..."The Honeymoon"...
The actors that stand out are Jacinda Barret (Heather) and Glenn Quinn (Scott). The chemistry between the two is strong and it makes us watch them. It doesn’t hurt that Jacinda Barret is a very pretty girl either. James Marsden (Eddie) is wasted (He plays in The Hook) and that's too bad cause he’s a decent actor with kool hair. Ron Livingston (Rick) and Jennifer McDonald (Valerie) who are in "The Honeymooners" obviously did this gig for the paycheck, cause they look half asleep onscreen. Alex McKenna who plays the 12 year old girl in "People Can Lick Too" gives a good show, I mean she does carry the story and she’s a kid…so congrats sport! Too bad Devon Odessa (who plays her sister in the film) doesn't do the honorable thing and take off her top cause it’s obvious the only reason she got the part was because of her big breasts. Her acting sucks the big one.
T & A
If there’s a movie that really needs it, it’s this one. They don’t deliver in that department either. We get a sideways, half ass tit shot (if you're gonna show tits, SHOW EM) and we get Ron Livingston without a shirt…keep the shirt on dude, you’re no "Ryan Phillipe."
David Semel directs the "campfire" scenes and "The Locket" with style and assurance.
Martin Kunert who directed "The Hook" and "People Can Lick Too" handles himself fine but should be arrested for showing a 12 year old naked girl, just out of the shower, wrapped in a towel, getting dressed and film it as if he’s trying to arouse the audience. Shame on you. And Matt Cooper who directed "The Honeymoon" should never direct again. His attempt at suspense was laughable and bored me (and I think his actor’s) to death.
A generic score. This movie would have needed some pop/rock songs to liven it up.
A little bit of "Limp Bizkit" never hurt anybody.
A lazy, lifeless movie. If you have to see it, fast forward to the last story and lust after Jacinda Barret…cause other than a surprise ending that’s pretty much all this movie has to offer. Rent "Twilight Zone The Movie" instead and thank me in the morning.
If your gonna watch this snore, watch the closing credits to the end…a small surprise awaits…ouuuuu!