Having a wedding can be a scream.
A tongue-in-cheek tribute to old slasher films, Camp Wedding revolves around Mia – which is only fitting, because she thinks the whole world should revolve around her. A bridezilla on a mission, she’s planned a special destination-wedding for her nuptials.
The only problem is, the destination she’s picked is an abandoned summer camp, the site of a long-ago freak accident. (The poor victim, a bullied child, was both struck-by-lighting and drowned.)
Oh, and the campgrounds are also in a rural Massachusetts village, where the earth still holds the ashes of executed witches. And the blood of massacred Native Americans. And maybe even the tears of a few generations of Red Sox fans.
What could possibly go wrong?
Just about everything, as Greg Emetaz’ horror spoof quickly mixes and matches bits of Scream, Friday the 13th and every other slice-and-dice teen movie where the quickest way to get killed was to be horny, high and in your underwear.
The difference here is that, instead of high-school kids, these potential victims are all 20- and 30-somethings. So instead of snarking about gym teachers and bio class, we get crabby complaints about gluten intolerance, soul-deadening jobs, and demanding toddlers.
And since this is 2021, their stories are driven less by dialogue than by selfies, posts and texts – usually badly blurred or fatally misunderstood.
The characters could be sharper and the script, by Emetaz and Cara Consilvio, could be funnier; if you’re going to avoid the goofy gross-out gags of the Scary Movie franchise, good for you, but you’d better have a lot of verbal humor to take their place. (For a truly wonderful and hilarious twist on the killer vacation genre, by the way, go rent Tucker and Dale Vs Evil.)
But the filmmaking here is sharp and the cast is enthusiastic and energetic, doing their best to add attitude to their already quirky characters while they still have time. Particularly good is Wendy Jung as Eileen, the bride-to-be’s best frenemy, and one of the first to realize There’s Something Going On here.
Of course, as Scream taught us, knowing what’s going to happen is no protection for any movie character – or often much fun for most audiences. But even as it parodies familiar movies (and evokes old parodies), Camp Wedding still provides a few scares, a number of knowing smiles and even a shout-out to the terrifying Teddy Ruxpin. It’s one bridal party you won’t regret joining — particularly if you hit the open bar first.