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Bloody Murder 2: Closing Camp (2003)

This is a film I grew up owning on DVD, purchasing it under the impression it was part of the Halloween franchise. In the UK this is called 'Halloween Camp', hence the confusion. This was a purchase made before we had easy access to the internet, and it was quickly established early into my first viewing that this film has no affiliation with the character of Michael Myers, or the Halloween franchise. It wasn't up until recently when I wanted to revisit this film that I found out that this is actually a sequel to the abomination that is 'Bloody Murder'.

It was apparent fairly early on that the story is almost play by play of the first, once again heavily implying that the camp councilor is responsible for the killing of these teens, based on the mythology of the urban legend of Trevor Moorehouse. Thankfully, this time around, this plays out much more coherent than the first attempt. Not only does this tell the story better but it does a pretty decent job of convincing the audience that this is going in one direction, only to have a rather surprising switch in direction in the final act. I did however find this closing act and certain elements of the reveal to be a real dip in quality, in comparison to the stuff that had come before it. Trying too hard to replicate the plot of 'Friday the 13th' only resulted in a major lack of its own identity.

The first kill in this film features one of the teens getting both legs cut off with a machete, whilst still alive and crawling through the woods, before ultimately being bludeoned to death with a rock. Not only does this look fantastic, but lets us know as an audience early on that this is a much more blood soaked and violent installment the previous entry. The effects are all done practically and considering the low expectations I had for this, upon my latest rewatch I was very surprised at how high the standard was for this. It’s certainly nothing ground breaking, but I think considering the overall low quality of the production, this is one element that really stood out to me as impressive.

The casting isn't great It's once again better than the first film, but that's not saying much given the unengaging and unrelatable performance produced in there. Other than Tiffany Shepis who plays Angela, I didn't recognise a single actor here. The biggest culprits for worst acting is definitely camp councilor Rick played Arthur Benjamin, and our focal 'final girl' Tracey played by Katy Woodruff. Their line delivery is borderline criminal and the scenes featuring the two of them together is unbearable to watch.

The character of Trevor Moorehouse, although an unpopular opinion, I think is a much better improvement from the first. Whist still wearing the denim dungarees introduced in the first, his mask has had a well needed upgrade. Rather than the knock-off version of the Jason Vorhees mask used in part 1, he has a plain white expressionless mask glued to a black balaclava. Although nothing special, and a mask you would most likely find in most craft shops - it does have a very creepy look to it, more so once cover in blood spatter.

Revisiting this one was fun. But I do say that knowing it's one I'm very unlikely to ever return to again. If, like me, you enjoy B-movie slashers that require little to no thought as the play-by-play events unfold, then Bloody Murder 2 might just be for you. I can't say I would necessarily recommend it to anyone. I have a nostalgia based connection to it more than anything and my curiosity regarding how badly this film has aged got the better of me. It's not perfect, and I'd be stretched to even say it was good. Yet, there are enough moments within its runtime to warrant its generous score.



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