After Friday the 13th redefined the horror genre in 1980, it set off a load of imitator’s. Sleepaway Camp was made in 1983 and is the best of these. Sleepaway has also spawned several sequels with varying degrees of quality. The story is quite simple; it involves a mysterious killer in a summer camp (Camp Arawak). Unlike the “Friday” movies, these kids are only 12-year-olds and probably could not be made in today’s prudish, politically correct society.
As people start dying off in pretty creative ways, the suspects start to mount up and the camp owner wants to keep the news private. But when the murders continue and people start freaking out they all go into survival mode. There is a mega shock ending on par with The Sixth Sense that really made this movie a horror hit. One of the reasons this movie was so good is that the characters act like real people and we really care about them as the viewer. This is something that the horror genre has lost in recent years. Surprisingly there was little to no blood in Sleepaway which is also another testament to its unique appeal.