Monster Camp: The Story of NERO Seattle (2008)

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Movie Info

Filmmaker Cullen Hoback follows a group of online fantasy gamers as they spend a weekend offline. The Seattle, Washington chapter of the New England Role Playing Organization (NERO) is a group of hardcore *World of Warcraft players who take the online gaming experience into the real world with weekend role-playing jaunts. The film chronicles one such weekend, exploring how the participants escape their workaday selves and transform into often antithetical fantastical characters. Monster Camp: The Story of Nero Seattle premiered at the 2007 Cinequest Film Festival, where it was honored with the Audience Award for Best Documentary

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Critic Reviews for Monster Camp: The Story of NERO Seattle

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (6)

How much audiences will like Monster Camp may depend on their ability/need to abandon their everyday personas for weekends of fantasy dress-up and battles.

Sep 4, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Monster Camp is an endless succession of fantasy enthusiasts talking about nothing.

Sep 2, 2008 | Full Review…

Monster Camp introduces us to several of its cheerful practitioners, letting what first seems odd slowly make sense to the uninitiated.

Apr 4, 2008 | Rating: 3/4

As endearing as it is amusing.

Jun 27, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

At 82 minutes, this visit to a rarely seen world of gamers may begin to feel a little long, unless you're planning to get into the game yourself.

Mar 1, 2007

It's all very harmless, engaging, and for the most part, solid.

Sep 2, 2008 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Monster Camp: The Story of NERO Seattle

½

It's a good documentary but I would have liked to get a little more into how the game is played and seen more of that than people talking about what a pain it is to play the game. It's well made and the people are interesting enough to sit through but they all come off a little out of touch with reality. Something none of them are afraid to admit.

Jason Spencer
Jason Spencer

Super Reviewer

Not a bad documentary, its focus on the internal politics of a group of LARPers provides a nice little reminder on human nature, or something. The meat of the movie, though, should be the characters that populate this subculture. They are a colorful group, to be sure, but here too much attention is paid to the logistics of the game itself. That does serve as a means of characterization, as it exposes some of this practice's absurdity, but by the end of the movie I felt like I knew too much about NERO and not enough about LARPing.

Nate Harris
Nate Harris

Super Reviewer

½

Some laughs, sure, but not as involving as Darkon was.

Steve K
Steve K

Super Reviewer

I was completely fascinated with LARPers after seeing the excellent Darkon, and once I learned that there was another documentary about the subject that had been made, I wasted no time tracking it down so I could watch it. Unfortunately, Monster Camp is inferior to Darkon in every way. Even hardcore fans of documentaries may choose to skip this one. A documentary is only as good as its subject matter, and Monster Camp simply fails in this regard. I'm not a judgmental person. I liked all the different people that Darkon focused on. There lives were interesting for the most part, and I empathized or identified to a degree with all of them. For the most part they were normal people. Monster Camp, on the other hand... I hate to say this, but there was very little to like about the participants of Nero Seattle. They weren't endearing or quirky. Mostly, they were just plain weird. The movie makers made no attempt to portray them as three-dimensional individuals. They all came off as losers or super-geeks who had nothing in their lives except their monthly hobby. And I hate to see people depicted in such a negative way. There's no incentive to get emotionally involved in Monster Camp. Darkon was so well made, that everything that was important to its subjects soon became important to the viewer. All I feel after watching Monster Camp is that most of those people would benefit from focusing more of their attention on the real world. In a nutshell, I recommend Darkon to everyone and Monster Camp to no one.

Lewis C.
Lewis C.

Super Reviewer

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