Sleepaway Camp


Sleepaway Camp

Critics Consensus

Sleepaway Camp is a standard teen slasher elevated by occasional moments of John Waters-esque weirdness and a twisted ending.



Total Count: 22


Audience Score

User Ratings: 17,780
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Movie Info

When Angela (Felissa Rose) and her cousin Ricky (Jonathan Tierston) go off to the dilapidated Camp Arawak for a summer vacation, a series of murders coincidentally occurs: a boy drowns in an overturned rowboat, a sex pervert is scalded to death in a vat of boiling water, another boy dies of a killer-bee attack, and yet another is stabbed to death in a shower. But the real victims are the script, dialogue, and acting, killed off in the opening scenes. Two even worse sequels followed this film.


Critic Reviews for Sleepaway Camp

All Critics (22) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (4)

  • The big, infamous end reveal actually suggests the screenplay's focused on psychological damage inherent in enforcing gender roles on children.

    Apr 28, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • An atypical slasher movie that blurs the lines between high and low art, good and bad acting, male and female, proficiency and ineptitude, sophistication and primitivism.

    Oct 23, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • even as the final sequence leaves first-time viewers reeling, those who rewind and rewatch the film can unzip all the hints and tells which Hiltzik has artfully concealed in the dialogue of his subversive screenplay.

    Dec 16, 2017 | Full Review…
  • A slog through teenage nightmares that has the gall to assume anyone is interested in social commentary, especially when it is all formulated by ideas carbon-copied from more talented filmmakers.

    Oct 29, 2017 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The story of Sleepaway Camp is pretty much everything you'd expect from a slasher movie and nothing you'd ever expect, which is what makes Hiltzik's campy and disturbing summer camp tale still one of the more memorable horror movies ever made.

    Jan 7, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The justly-famous closing image is one of the most baffling and incongruous climaxes in a genre known and celebrated by devotees for its WTF factor.

    Jun 28, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Sleepaway Camp

  • Apr 07, 2014
    OMG THE ENDING!! MY EYES!! 7/10.
    Mesh B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 16, 2012
    The ludicrous twist is all anyone ever remembers, probably because the rest of it is just plain awful.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 29, 2011
    I think this low budget slasher certainly offered a lot of shock to the audience, the twist(s) were so shocking, I loved it. A highly successful cult classic for the blood thirsty horror fans.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Oct 10, 2011
    My first and hopefully only disappointment of the month, 'Sleepaway Camp' is a tawdry, sleazy slasher film without any distinguishing qualities until a mesmerizing shock-to-the-system ending that redefines everything that came before. The performances are so abysmal and amateurish that, for the majority of the film, Felissa Rose appears almost comatose and her aunt is so mannered, obnoxiously loud and theatrical that she acts as though she mistook the part for a Stanley Kubrick satire. The slice-and-dice murders are interminable and prosaic set pieces that range from boiling pots of water to shower stabbings (although a curling iron scene is hinted to be a gruesome phallic rape implement). The saving grace of this dross is the unforgettably hair-raising final shot and that feral, animalistic growl from the killer. If nothing else, the agape mouth of the killer will be imprinted in your mind while the rest of this hoary flop will wash away.
    Cory T Super Reviewer

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