The Campus is a story all about the sins of the father.
Robert made a deal with the devil so he could be rich. Little did he or his money-hungry daughter Morgan know that deal becomes part of her inheritance. Morgan, who has been away from the family for years, returns to attend her father’s funeral. She immediately goes toe to toe with her sister, Natalie. She is approached by Jeffery (Scott Menville (Teen Titans Go!)) who offers to take her burden. Morgan (Rachel Amanda Bryant (The Disappearance of Madison Bishop)) has no idea what he means, so she brushes him off. She doubles back later that night to rob her father’s business. That’s when the horrors truly begin.
Robert and Morgan’s estranged relationship is explored largely through flashbacks. She is always portrayed as the second fiddle to Natalie. These flashbacks also show how long Jeffery has been jealous of Robert’s dark pact. The rest of the film is largely Bryant by herself against a myriad of terrors as she tries to escape the deadly curse. As it is explained to Robert in the opening scene, the devil comes for you one piece at a time. Morgan faces exactly that. She must avoid several distinctly different paths to her demise.
Darryl Blood’s soundtrack is reminiscent of John Carpenter’s signature works in the 80’s. Rachel Amanda Bryant (The Disappearance of Madison Bishop) is at her best when the film is at its most manic. She has all the elements of a great scream queen; terror, sadness, and tons of courage. Director/writer Jason Horton doesn’t hold back when putting her through the ringer. Naturally, she makes some questionable decisions with deadly consequences. The film’s middle act literally flips the script on traditional horror, leaving viewers guessing what Horton has up his bloody sleeve.
Supernatural fans will recognize Sheridan from her role as Kate the Werewolf. Andy Grobin (Face Off) gets a call out for playing the skeeziest version of Green Bay Packers’ linebacker Clay Matthews. The set designs show the creativity of the studio’s experienced staff. The film is tense and looks fantastic for the reported $500,000 budget. The effects are appropriately disgusting and Bryant sells every shot.
The Campus is good for some clever jump scares and a dozen different filmmaking techniques. At times, viewers will wonder what inanimate object is going to attack Morgan next. They may marvel at the sheer volume of caro syrup and food coloring is used. It’s a testimony to how far talented folks can stretch a buck when they love making movies. The film runs 84 minutes. It premiered in Hollywood on January 27, is available on Amazon, and will release on Blu-Ray and DVD in April.