Making their feature length debut in English, Leonardo and Demian Fuica have made a pandemic camping horror, which sees two couples look to getaway from the lockdown restrictions only for their trip to go sinisterly wrong. Available on digital download in the UK, USA & Canada and Australia and New Zealand from 16th August and available to pre order here.
Best of friends Enzo (Leo Zola) and Ace (Alex Gravenstein) have organised a camping trip with their partners Polly (Caitlin Cameron) and Coco (Hannah Forest-Briant). Fed up with the pandemic and wanting to forget about their money problems they head off to a remote lake together. Here they are finally able to embrace one another for the first time and our merry campers enjoy this regained freedom telling stories around the campfire and showing a surprisingly open side to their friendship.
Meanwhile there is a mysterious man in the forest, he is meeting with a couple of shady hoodlums to carry out a pandemic scam involving lots of money and a new lifesaving vaccine formula. The campers become unsurprisingly caught up in the deal that goes wrong and have absurd difficulties trying to make the right decisions to get out of the situation, albeit at a time when nobody seems to be thinking straight.
As first time English language filmmakers the dialogue is a mix of natural disjointed interaction between native and non-native speakers but also just bad dialogue. There are some pretty incoherent ramblings especially from Enzo, who seems to be the group’s chief decision maker and so it’s no wonder that everything begins to unravel for this hedonistic group of campers. The plot is equally disjointed with some derisible moments of stupidity, largely brought about presumably by the necessity of the story, as it would be generous to say it was all down to the impact of the pandemic on people’s behaviour.
The cinematography and post production look to heighten the peculiar pandemic effects most interestingly through a dizzying rotating 360 degree camera movement. There are some other experimental post effects introduced like the slow mo fight sequence which has mixed results in its gory detail, but all added together do create a sense of something happening outside of the norm, sharpened by an original music score by Michel Demars, that is low key but nonetheless atmospheric.
Screenwriter Leonardo Fuica was inspired during Covid-19 and the lockdown period to write a film to include the things he observed and he takes this opportunity to make fun of the masks, the fines, the social distancing and the frenzied survivalist nature that went on. He’s put together a family production and maybe it is this that shines through and allows you to enjoy some of this generally goofy pandemic horror with all its peculiar nuances and clichés.
Film: Camping Trip
Director: Leonardo and Demian Fuica
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Stars: Leo Zola, Caitlin Cameron, Alex Gravenstein, Hannah Forest-Briant
Run time: 1hr 35min