As you've probably discerned from some of my other DVD reviews here (and book reviews, on my book blog, too) I'm not an avid watcher of Christian cinema - that is, films that have a blatant Christian message. I'm fine with movies having morals or even mentioning God, but I don't like films that constantly push their message over and over.
I actually didn't know Camp was a Christian-oriented film before I watched it, but in my opinion, it's an example of the genre done right: there are religious themes but not "in your face," and they actually fit in the context of the movie, as well.
The film is about Eli, whose mother is a drug addict and whose father is rarely at home, but he always makes his presence known when he is. When we first meet Eli, his father has just physically abused him, and he's on his way to the hospital. Soon after that, it's inferred that he was placed in a youth home, and the director of a summer camp, Tammie (Grace Johnston), receives an email asking if there's room for one more child at her camp. At the same time, investment advisor Ken Matthews (Michael Mattera) signs up to be a counselor at the camp, but he has an ulterior motive: he wants to impress a potential client, who actually turns out to be Tammie's great-aunt. Ken has no idea what he's in for being Eli's counselor, but gradually, as he learns about Eli's past, they start to connect with each other.
I've been to summer camp in the past, but this was a special kind of camp: it's for children that have been abused and neglected, and wouldn't normally get to go to camp. There were two sisters at the camp who only get to see each other there, since they live in different foster homes, and one girl who didn't even know where she was going until she got to camp, because nobody told her. The counselors are gentle with these kids - except for Ken, at first, because he was a jerk - and we get to learn about them and their situations.
I ended up liking this movie more than I thought I would. It looks like Amazon doesn't have it for sale but you can buy the DVD straight from their website, and some of the proceeds go to local Royal Family KIDS camp, which is the real camp on which the movie is based. You can also enter my giveaway below to have a chance to win the film. I liked the movie because the characters seemed like they could be real, and the acting was decent as well; it's a nice family movie with a good message, and I also liked that it didn't try to be "pushy" with some of the religious aspects of it.
Camp is rated PG-13 and is 111 minutes long. 3.5 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I received a DVD of this film for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.
I have one copy of Camp on DVD to give away to a lucky reader.
Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. The contest ends Wednesday, September 25th at 11:59pm - winner will be notified on September 26th and have 24 hours to respond or an alternate winner will be chosen. U.S./Canada only, please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway