Crazy Camping: KILLING GROUND (2017) Review

A young couple goes on a camping trip in the woods where they make a startling discovery. Meanwhile, a family that is also camping encounter two psychotic men who set their sights on the family for their hunting game.

I like to think that I’m very un-phased by most disturbing things in horror. But there are the few occasional horror films that come along that really push certain boundaries. Sometimes it’s not even disturbing, but more so I think it’s a film of poor taste. Killing Ground fits into that category. The thing with movies like these is that it’s so hard to call it a good movie and praise it because of how horrible in content it is. Killing Ground would be like if The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House on the Left, and Wolf Creek had a big, messed up three-way. In some ways it doesn’t reach the brutality or grittiness of those films, but in some ways it comes off as more realistically brutal, which in some cases makes it almost worse. There are things that happen that definitely aren’t for the faint of heart. What Killing Ground succeeds at is that it doesn’t need gore or in your face violence to be disturbing. Of course I won’t get into detail on this, but this feels more taboo than any of the films I listed. It doesn’t cross Cannibal Holocaust or A Serbian Film threshold, but more so fits into it’s own territory. The screwed up games these two “hunters” play with the character is demented and their lack of humanity is even worse.

What really makes this film more on the unbearable side is that all of our protagonists are extremely likable. The main couple is cute in the most un-annoying way, the parents are really caring and not nagging and overbearing, the teenage daughter is a good kid and not bitchy or annoying, and then you have a toddler in the mix. When thrown in danger the characters aren’t stupid either. In this respect, the script is really well-written in that we have these solid and likable characters, and then you have these two horrible antagonists that just make you sick. These are backed by the strong performances by the cast. The general plot isn’t particularly new, but it’s definitely new in the choices it chooses to make. When all is said and done, the film is commendable in how far it chooses to go and the strength of the characters and actors, and overall the movie is well-done. It’s not a bad movie at all, but I can’t call it good because at times it does feel in poor taste and it seems to only want to horrify you with those lengths it takes and not serve much else. If you are by chance into these movies and willing to stick it out, totally go for it. But it’s definitely not one I recommend to all horror fans.

-Cody Landman