Kids go camping and get chopped up, again!

I’ve lost count of the number of films I’ve seen where a group of hapless young adults go camping, only to find they’re camped near a serial-killer, or in the case, a family of serial-killers, however, where this one differed slightly was that the idea was better, but sadly the execution left a lot to be desired. I did, however, quite enjoy it to a certain degree, because it tried to be a bit different, and kept me watching where I’d normally just turn it off. Remembering this was made for a pittance, you can overlook certain things, and for all there wasn’t much in the way of gore, it was handled fairly well and looked almost convincing compared to some I’ve had the misfortune of seeing.

Zellwood
Written & Directed by
Jason Sutton
Cast
Sara Jean Underwood, Bruster Phoenix Sampson, Patricia Rosales
Release Date
28 January 2014
Ed’s Grade: C

Two couples decide to go camping and end up in a pleasant wooded area next to a lake. After pitching their tents they have the obligatory campfire scene, where one of the girls blurts out that her boyfriend had slept with her friend’s boyfriend sometime in the past, before each of them had paired up, but this causes a fight to break out between the guys.

One of the guys storms off into the woods with the other chasing after him, but then two girls appear and offer to help look for them. The girls turn out to be part of a serial-killer family and they eventually invite them back to their house, where the couples are drugged. They wake up bound with one of the girls tied to a chair. Her hands are then nailed to the armrest with threats of violence to the other girl who can only watch on helplessly. The remaining two must try to escape or face the same fate as the others.


The acting wasn’t too bad but there was no flair shown in either the cinematography or the editing, and the last act, where we should have felt the tension building up to get excited, felt rather flat. The father of the serial-killing family and the the arc of that part of the story was something that could’ve been expanded on, and at the close of the film, where the family are talking about going to visit their grandparents and cousins, who we’re to assume are like-minded murdering individuals, promised something very interesting.

This sort of film has been literally done to death and to be better than the rest needed far more than Zellwood could provide, yet it was a bit better than its low-budget contemporaries. If a couple of hot chicks and a bit of gore is what you’re after then this just might keep you entertained.

Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer