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Maggie Mater is one of the masterminds behind last year’s F13: Survive Jason Slasher Survival Camp experience. And today, Dread Central caught up with Mater to talk about what we can expect to experience this year. And it’s much more than the man behind the (hockey) mask.

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She tells Dread Central: “We just acquired our own land, which is why we are revamping. It gives us the opportunity to really explore the horror world. We’re looking to host around 4-5 major events this year, along with a string of smaller ones. And we are focusing on bringing a wide range of characters into our events. Our whole goal is to offer events year-round since there are very few horror activities throughout the year. The whole By Fans, For Fans kind of thing.”

She continues: “We are looking to bring in original characters and storylines, but also familiar faces as well. Always erring on the right side of the copyright law. We have plans for the Carnival, the Babysitter Murders, the Land of the Dead, The Legend of Black Annis, and of course our favorite Camp Stories. None of those are titles yet but you get the idea.”

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So it won’t just be “Jason” this year but a host of new and revamped slashers?

She adds: “There are plenty of ways to bring in everyone’s favorite slashers (Michael, Jason, Freddy, etc) and give them our own spin. Recognizable and our own versions. We had a lot of good feedback this past year, and people loved Jason but also the idea of expansions. More of a Dead by Daylight feel. We’ve been having a blast coming up with ideas. It’s always great getting feedback from the guests who have attended. For the most part, a lot of suggestions we received have been items we ourselves have thought of. So horror fans’ minds think alike sometimes. And new suggestions have been great.”

The rundown on last year’s event went like this:

Slasher Camp is a horror fan’s dream – or nightmare. After watching the series, the question inevitably arises: if I was in this situation, could I survive Jason, or Freddy, or Angela? We all like to think we can. Avoid the horror movie tropes. Run instead of walk. Don’t investigate that sound in the dark. I decided to put that to the test. The creation of this game is to let people have the experience of testing their mettle against one of the baddest slashers in the genre. In a safe, real-world scenario, players get to step into Camp Blood and attempt to escape from an unstoppable, unkillable force. If you win, you deserve a prize! If you get caught, well… you’re just another slasher victim. Hopefully, your death is memorable. With a fantastic team working to set up, create, and execute, we hope that everyone who participates has the same thrill that we get.
We started with one villain. We are expanding to explore more of the horror-verse to satiate our players’ desire to confront more than one camper-killing slasher. As we go forward, we will offer a more immersive experience as well.

Last year’s game could be played by up to eight people (18 years old and up) per 25-minute round. There was a 10-minute “overtime” where the “play area shrinks and additional weapons are added to assist either the players or the killer.” Children and pets were NOT allowed. The cost is $25 per person and each person received a t-shirt while those who survived until the end received an additional prize.

While that’s all we know about this year’s event thus far, you can expect to hear MUCH more about the upcoming event throughout the next few weeks/months, we can tell you that. But in the meantime, what do you think of this upcoming Slasher Survival camp? Let us know in the comments below or over on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

For his latest retrospective, Chad Collins dives into Germany’s THE POOL. The decade after Scream’s release was a strange one. While J-horror the next decade or the deluge of Saw imitators several years after that at least endeavored to distinguish themselves from their genre progenitors. The Scream copycats, so to speak, were brazen in their pantomiming of Wes Craven and Kevin William’s seminal slasher.

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I Know What You Did Last Summer(also written by Williamson) and Urban Legend, for instance, abstracted Scream’s meta self-awareness. They elevated slasher violence with a veneer of gloss and technical merit the subgenre hadn’t seen in decades. While they absconded with Williamson’s wit, they often failed to replicate Craven’s propensity for balancing the waggish and the terrifying. Scream was not only funny but frightening. A scary movie that incited laughs and screams in equal measure.

In fairness, few of those late nineties Scream impressions are outright bad. And several of them, in their own way, are a great deal of fun. But for every Urban Legend, there’s a Valentine. A polished yet tepid millennial slasher, not even Denise Richards’s zeitgeist allure can save. Among the crop of mimics, though, is Boris von Sychowski’s Swimming Pool (or The Poolin the U.S.). Released in 2001, The Pool is too often ignored in conversations. Both present and past, regarding Scream’s influence on the slasher subgenre and horror writ large. The script is dumb, that final twist is something to behold, and the acting is passable. At best. But there’s an unmitigated charm to the proceedings. Motivated by nostalgia and a sense of unabashed fun.

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Kristen Miller is a quasi-scream queen who never quite got the recognition she deserves. In fact, in some marketing material, she’s third-billed despite playing the lead. She stars as one of Prague prep school students who sneak into an indoor waterpark to celebrate their forthcoming graduation. Unbeknownst to them, a skull-masked killer has been stalking them. This party is posed to be their last.

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The Pool, unlike some of Scream’s other imitators, at least tries something different. The cast is noteworthy, including early turns from James McAvoy and Isla Fisher. And the setting in particular is stellar. With a distinctly Eastern-European feel, the indoor pool is a combination of Renaissance marble and Argento angles. Even better, Director Boris von Sychowski and writer Lorenz Stassen take full advantage of the pool’s scope and unique architecture. The killer pursues the coeds through vents and over railings into the water below. In the movie’s most sensational kill, Svenja (Linda Rybová) descends the complex’s waterslide. Unaware the killer plunged his machete through the bottom of the slide. Svenja descends and the blade slices her in half.

The tension is suitably high throughout. But the killer’s motivation is lackluster (it amounts to little more than jealousy and spurned advances). However, the preceding material has that rousing new millennium slasher charm. There is, too, at least an attempt at some socio-cultural relevancy. Sarah and her friends– if it wasn’t evident from their European prep school– are born of privilege. They head straight to the party from final exams. And few, if any, of them show concern about how they performed. Pass or fail, their wealth is immortal. School is an obligation, not a necessity. The poor outcast of the group (Isla Fisher) makes it explicit. She accosts her boyfriend (James McAvoy) for his blasé attitude toward elite birthrights. Granted, the killer offs her shortly thereafter. But that attitude permeates the material.

RELATED: THE POOL Review–A Mean-Spirited Horror Movie That Swings For the Fences

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It’s a compelling angle, one few– if any– new age slasher movies take the time to really interrogate. Even Scream in parts plays less like a horror movie and more like Wine Country real estate porn. Even contemporary teen scream horror fare is ambivalent or disinterested in interrogating or acknowledging, the privilege of its cast. They always live in giant McMansions. And if the current horror output were any guide, it would seem that ghosts and maniacs only target elevated income brackets.

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It’s a small note, and it certainly doesn’t compensate for the more familiar stretches. But it’s at least consistently interesting. And that, more than anything, perfectly describes The Pool– consistently interesting. The pop-punk soundtrack and VHS notoriety has rendered it something of a millennial touchstone. It’s an early slasher gateway, one for video store regulars and the dial-up chat board crowd. It holds a special place in most slasher lovers’ hearts. If you haven’t yet, it’s definitely worth seeking out. And seek it out, you will. As of this writing, The Pool is unavailable on any streaming services. And the handful of online listings are for VHS copies or region-specific DVDs. But that’s part of the charm. It’s an elusive, almost mythical slasher. And when you finally get the chance, you’ll be glad to have dived into The Pool.