A simple reunion between friends soon turns deadly in this thriller from the Fuica Brothes.
At the end of the first COVID-19 lockdown, couple Enzo and Polly decide to take advantage of the temporary freedom by having a reunion with best friend Ace and Coco. The four decide to go on a camping trip to an area Enzo and Ace used to go to when they were kids. The two couples journey through the long trek and when they arrive, they couldn’t be happier as it takes away from the stress they have been enduring.
Meanwhile, a doctor meets with two hillbillies, Billy and Orick, to discuss a possible deal in the woods. However, when the Doc scams the two men and hides the money in Enzo’s tent while they are away from the area, the Doc is mercilessly killed by Orick after he feels insulted. When Enzo and Ace discover the money, they are stoked as they find it the perfect opportunity to get out of their stressful lives. However, when Billy and Orick learn that Enzo and Ace have the money, they come up with a plan that soon becomes a deadly fight that will lead to something shocking.
From the title of the film, it seems like it could be a lighthearted film about a reunion after a lockdown from the COVID-19 pandemic. The entire first act is just that, a reunited bromance and fun between two best friends and their partners. They are enjoying the life of camping away from civilization and the insanity of reality with the pandemic. However, it is the second act that things start to get serious.
The cast of main characters are great in this. Leo Zola, who is actually writer and co-director Leonardo Fuica, is wonderful as Enzo, the man who sets up the reunion between he, his best friends, and their partners. Alex Gravenstein is the more outgoing and outspoken Ace, who has been struggling since the pandemic. However, he feels he can rely on Enzo to help him until he gets back on his feet. Caitlin Cameron and Hannah Forest Briand are great as Polly and Coco, Enzo and Ace’s partners who join them on the trip and like the two best friends, seem to rely on each other.
It is when we meet Jonathan Vanderzon’s Billy and Michael D’Amico’s Orick that things get serious. Billy is the more levelheaded of the two villains who tries to make things smooth and calm while Orick is completely hot-headed. Their conflicting personalities make one wonder why they would work together but after a deal goes bad, they must do so when they learn the main characters have the money. When they confront the protagonists after warming them up, this is where things get interesting.
You have to hand it to the Fuica Brothers for attempting to use different cinematic techniques to tell their story. When Billy and Orick chase the Doc after he scams them, slow-motion is used to show the impact. The same technique is used in the confrontation between the four protagonists and the two hillbilly thugs. While it may work in the former, the latter makes the film drag a little more and seems like one of the slowest action scenes. It feels like it may make you wonder when it will end. This leads to a shocking finale that uses a 360-camera angle shot moving over and over again until a moment of impact unleashes all hell.
Camping Trip starts out with lighthearted fun until things really pick up and amps up the intensity. Despite the dragged out slow-motion action scene, you have to hand it to the Fuica Brothers’ use of different cinematic techniques that ultimately make it watchable.
WFG RATING: B
A Les Productions Fuica film. Directors: Leonardo Fuica and Demian Fuica. Producer: Demian Fuica. Writer: Leonardo Fuica. Cinematography: Demian Fuica and Tibo L’Amy. Editing: Demian Fuica.
Cast: Leonardo Fuica, Caitlin Cameron, Alex Gravenstein, Hannah Forest Briand, Jonathan Vanderzon, Michael D’Amico, Ben Pelletier.