As a queer filmmaker who was raised in the evangelical church, I have long been dreaming of making a low budget horror that took place at Church Camp, and for this reason, I will NEVER FORGIVE MYSELF for not coming up with the brilliant title of this movie first! That being said, while the title is hardly the best part, it's on a short list of what worked in the film.
Let's start with the positive: I will watch absolutely ANYTHING that Theo Germaine is in. I am an enormous fan, and delighted in watching them consistently upstage the likes of Anna Chlumsky (whom I also adore) and Anna Chlumsky. I was also relieved to see actual trans actors portraying trans characters, and appreciated the effort that went into the diverse casting. It's also worth mentioning that although there's only about 4 deaths in what promises to be a slasher film, it was a smart move to not have any of them be the actual teenagers. This could have easily turned into a trauma porn of what is already a tremendously targeted and marginalized group, and I'm not gonna lie, watching creepy and abusive camp counselors get offed one by one was a little cathartic.
My biggest complaint? It's pretty rare that I say this, but there wasn't actually enough violence in this for me. The plot makes perfect sense: a woman who was tortured and abused at a Christian conversion camp as a teen returns undercover as a counselor to seek vengeance on her abusers. But by the time she gets there, the staff has changed their ways, and are no longer partaking in the shameful tactics of the past (whether this was by an earnest change of heart or fear of legal repercussions is never made clear, but that's hardly the point). I can imagine this was a choice made with the intention of heightening the drama - and relieving the audience from having to witness the abuse firsthand - but it just ends up making the woman seeking vengeance look like the bad guy. Which, I mean, she technically is, but she's not the worst bad guy, right?
Frankly I think the concept of a conversion camp is horrifying enough, and the plot could've been simplified. The staff was awful, but not really awful enough to merit being slashed in the woods; and condemning them for the sins of their past feels like an odd message. Or maybe that was the point: It doesn't matter how much "conversion" you go through, at the end of the day, you are who you are. Queer kids are queer, trans kids are trans, and reformed-but-previously-abusive camp counselors are still abusers. But if that was the intended takeaway, then once again: I wanted to see more blood. To quote the 2011 Dragon Tattoo poster: "Evil shall with evil be expelled."