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Campfire Tales Movie Review

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Dead of Night initiated a long line of horror movies in which a framing device of people telling stories to each other turned out to be even scarier than the stories. Campfire Tales continues that esteemed tradition over half a century later and while not in the same league as its classic inspiration, it's still pretty scary. “The Hook” is a black-and-white nod to drive-in fodder of the ‘50s, and although it opens and closes the film, it doesn't have anything to do with the rest of the picture. Jay R. Ferguson, Christine Taylor, Kim Murphy, and Christopher Masterson play Cliff, Lauren, Alex, and Eric, four kids out on a joyride who go off the road one night. They tell each other eerie tales about the worst things that can happen on a honeymoon, over the Internet, and in a house that replays its grimmest tragedy over and over again. Then we go back to the kids’ story and familiar faces from each tale intersect with their own, but as different characters. The Internet tale is the most disturbing as it shows a pre-teen girl from the perspective of her male stalker on the Internet, who pretends to be another young girl in a chat room, thus gaining access to all sorts of confidential information. Among the joyriders, Christine Taylor registers most strongly as Lauren and Jennifer MacDonald is also quite good as Valerie, a newlywed bride on a honeymoon in hell.

1998 (R) 103m/C James Marsden, Kim Murphy, Christine Taylor, Jay R. Ferguson, Christopher K. Masterson, Ron Livingston, Jennifer MacDonald, Hawthorne James, Alex McKenna, Glenn Quinn, Erick Fleeks, Amy Smart, Rick Lawrence, Suzanne Goddard; D: David Semel, Martin Kunert, Matt Cooper; W: Martin Kunert, Matt Cooper, Eric Manes; C: John Peters; M: Andrew Rose. VHS, LV, Closed Caption

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