The first feature film ever to be inspired by a Twitter thread makes its TV debut this weekend. was one of the highlights of the recent Fantastic Film Fest in Austin, Texas, with good reason: it’s good campy fun in the spirit of and . Small wonder Syfy snapped it up.
The Twitter thread in question dates to last July when fantasy authors Chuck Wendig () and Sam Sykes (Aeons’ Gate) riffed off one another. Sykes pretended to be a summer camp counselor in the midst of a massacre, wondering if, you know, he might be the killer, while Wendig offered helpful advice (“Are you wearing a scary mask?”). When the trailer dropped last month, we were instantly intrigued but wondered if the delightfully bonkers Twitter thread could ever translate into a viable feature film.
The answer to that is a resounding “yes.” The overall narrative arc will be familiar to fans of the original Twitter exchange, but there are enough surprising twists and turns to keep the audience entertained right to the end.
(Mild spoilers below)
The film opens, as you might expect, with Chuck (Alyson Hannigan, , ) getting a panicked call from her friend Sam (Fran Kranz, ) during her shift at the Rings of Saturn comic shop. Sam is covered in blood and informs her that “everyone’s dead” at his family’s summer campsite and that there’s a serial killer on the loose. “Sometimes that happens,” Chuck deadpans. “Especially the counselors.”
The rest of the story gradually unfolds in a series of flashbacks as Sam and Chuck converse, with the novel narrative device of having those flashbacks appear out of chronological sequence. So the audience is piecing together the story along with Chuck and Sam while the body count goes up or down as new information comes in. Popular camp counselor Steve “the Kayak King” might be the first mutilated body shown, but he might not have been the first to die. Or was he?
It’s an admittedly thin premise, but the film fills in the gaps by giving the campsite a spooky backstory. Sam’s family bought the camp at a great price, because it was rumored to be cursed. He tells his counselors the story their first night around the campfire: without giving too much away, it involves a seemingly mild-mannered man going on a killing spree before being killed in turn. His grave is located somewhere on the property. When the counselors decide it might be fun to go off in search of the grave—well, that’s when the blood starts spurting.
To say much more would be to spoil the fun. Suffice it to say, all your favorite slasher film tropes are on display, and Kranz’s performance alone makes the film worthwhile.