Camp Crystal Lake and Camp Arawak are two of the most popular summer camps in horror history; every summer we seem to have new camps popping up in the genre. Campgrounds make for a great location for horror films because of how easily things can go dark and twisted; seclusion, isolation, desolation, where no one can see you and no one can hear you scream. This summer, we've gotten a new horror that is based on a summer campground - A DEADLY LEGEND - where there's a sinister history buried in the earth and a gateway that begs to be opened. The Pilgrim Lake Campground in A Deadly Legend has plenty of its own dark secrets, but after watching the movie with such high hopes, I wish the film stayed a secret longer, to be honest. The trailer and synopsis both looked very promising and the film starts off great, but it quickly gets muddied with trying to do too much with too many people. It causes the film to become a bit of an overkill and dull - and with that, Pilgrim Lake Camp becomes dust in the wind.
To make a really tedious story short, a real estate developer named Joan (Kristen Anne Ferraro) returns to her old summer campground to buy the abandoned property and develop over it. She goes through the legal process, working with the city council to get the approval, and as she does, the council is warned of the dangers associated with the disruption of the land because of its dark and deadly past of human sacrifice and supernatural workings. You see, the land Joan acquires and hires construction worker Mike (Eric Wolf) to begin working on contains within it mysterious Stonehenge-like rocks which act as a gateway to the supernatural. Once the rocks and uncovered and disturbed, spirits with no regards for human life are awakened to try and take over the portal. Bodies begin to stack as Joan's friends and family succumb to the evil powers of the spirits as they become caught in the war for the gateway and utilized for human sacrifice. Sounds totally bad fucking ass, right?! Unfortunately, it becomes a messy movie - and a boring one, at that.
A Deadly Legend actually looks fucking beautiful; the shots are great and the quality if fantastic. The acting is actually pretty stellar too - there are some established actors in the movie, but even the ones I've never seen before did a really great job that deserves to be acknowledged. Mix those two elements together and you've already set the stage for a great opportunity to make a great movie; unfortunately for this one, the story just sinks the ship. You've got all these kids that are tripping out seeing two dimensions, a totally beautiful ghost witch redhead (who's scenes were my favorite in the movie - she has some terrifying moments on screen that could have been shown more), a madman construction worker who actually has a pretty awesome kill, and a bunch of adults who just... well I'm going to be honest, I'm not entirely sure what everyone's purpose is. That's part of the muddied mess I felt myself in an hour into this movie, trying to figure out what the fuck everyone was doing. You have too many people running around doing things and summoning things and fighting things that the story gets lost in there somewhere and I just found myself losing interest in whatever was on the screen. I'll admit that the film does have a pretty welcomed little twist that I probably should have seen coming but didn't, but other than that, I'd have to admit this one let me down. I was hoping for a lot more wickedness with supernatural entities and wound up with a pretty uneventful disappointment. Unfortunately, this one's going to be a pass from me - but if you find it on Netflix at some point in the future when you have literally nothing to do and don't have to spend any money to see it, maybe give it a try. Maybe you'll find something in it that I didn't.