Let these babies stay home this summer!
Summer camp is not for people like me. I had to go to a day camp once and complained the whole time. Because I almost drowned that summer, I never had to go back. I also never learned to swim, but that swimming streaming guide has passed. My bitter feelings towards summer camps might be why I enjoy watching summer camp slashers. Those who can’t do it, stay salty after all. There is something about watching 30-somethings masquerade as 15 year olds catch hatchets with their chest that helps me sleep at night. While I’m not going to unpack that, I am using it as a theme for this week’s streaming guide!
My water trauma in a two-piece that I didn’t want to wear is nothing compared to these deadly summer camps. These places are so dangerous that some don’t even get to open their doors for the “kids.” Some are so lethal that almost no one makes it out alive. They all prove that no one is doing background checks on camp counselors. I present to The Midnight Society: Five Summer Camps That’ll Make You Earn That Survival Badge. Because if I lost my shit over having to use a porta potty, then I was never going to be metal enough for this shit.
Friday the 13th (1980)
The first group to try to reopen the most deadly camp in history meets Pamela Voorhees. Spoiler alert, she and her comfy sweater are not here for this reopening. She’s also blaming all of the younger generations for her son’s death that happened years ago. While that’s big boomer energy, we stan this queen anyway. However, do you want to go to a summer camp where she’s hacking away at you and your squad? In the summer heat? With all of nature as a witness? Luckily, no kids were harmed in this one because Mrs. Voorhees shut it down before they got there. She runs through the staff and might be a hero to all those kids whose parents looked at Crystal Lake’s body count and said, “this seems like a good idea!”
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Where You Can Watch: Pluto TV
Because people never learn, a new group of young folks decides reopening Camp Murderville is a good idea. Instead of Mrs. Voorhees, they meet a very much alive Jason, who is sporting the latest in potato sack fashion. He also seems pissed that this camp is reopening after they killed his mother…who got murdered while committing shenanigans in the wake of his death. While the set-up is as wonky as this ragtag team of “teens,” this turned out to be one of the best movies in the franchise. However, this could still never be me. While Mrs. V was more of a big picture type, Jason is terrifying with his one-eye hole and refusal to use doors. I don’t want to go anywhere with a man in a potato sack leaping through windows and taking out my friends.
The tagline of this movie should have been, “Fuck around and find out,” and it’s another reminder to just say no to camp. Especially camps with histories of murder. Like, c’mon, y’all! “Madman Marz” is the legend haunting this Camp Crystal Lite, and his legend claims he murdered his own family. Once the counselors tell the “kids” that saying his name will summon him, they say his name, and shit goes off the rails. I know wi-fi and Shudder weren’t around in the ’80s, but I feel like there were easier ways to get a thrill. Again, why do people insist on working at camps where catching hatchets with your chest is a requirement? I have quit jobs for less!
Stage Fright (2014)
Musical theatre kids thought their camp was too special to be ruined by a masked killer. However, they were as wrong as half of the supposed sopranos I knew in college. As a reformed theatre kid, I love the idea of the Glee “kids” not being exempt from the summer camp horrors. The movie is a horror-comedy-musical so, it’s attempting to be funny on purpose instead of just making us giggle for reasons. There are a lot of obvious plot twists, your usual musical theatre kid stereotypes, and a weird fascination with Kabuki theatre. There are also more technicians saving the day than creepy dudes trying to get away with murder and “casting couches.” This movie also has Minnie Driver in a small role and a very young Dan Levy waiting for you towards the end. I don’t know if being stuck with musical theatre people is less scary than a serial killer, though…
Summer Camp (2015)
Four American camp counselors end up in the middle of a zombie outbreak in Europe. This movie gets style points for at least moving the summer camp outside of America. Even I find that tempting, and we know I don’t do summer and I don’t do camp. The movie also gets a golf clap for getting us away from the masked camp killer trope. However, because of my aversion to running and group sports, this might be even worse. Send me back to fighting one killer than a whole group of zombies. Can you imagine traveling abroad to have it shut down because humanity has learned nothing from Resident Evil?! What a waste of a trip. I would probably hide and cry. I’m anti-summer, anti-camp, and anti-all of this bullshit.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. Hopefully, you will see that summer camps end badly, and we have to shut those down. Let the kids stay in and watch horror movies. I did, and look how I turned out.
Is your favorite streaming online, but not on the list? Then let me know at @misssharai.