Tales from the Campfire review: Anthology horror feels like creepypasta


The indie horror film Tales from the Campfire has a creepy vibe that feels like a mature version of Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve held a certain place of appreciation for anthology horror. From TV shows like Tales from the Crypt to feature films like Creepshow, I find that a good collection of short horror stories can be very enjoyable to watch. It’s a nice way of taking in many creepy tales at once.

Aside from roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, campfires are known mostly for being a site to tell spooky stories. This serves as the backdrop for Tim Bell’s anthology horror flick Tales from the Campfire. Its premise is simple — four friends set up a fire in the woods, each taking turns telling their own stories. But little do they know, they just might be in a freaky horror story themselves…

In total, the youths tell three different stories around the campfire: a young woman explores an abandoned house where her parents were killed, only to find she’s not alone; a couple winds up in a dark cemetery, where they’re stalked by a mysterious figure; and the dead rise from the ground to corner a group of campers in an empty house. The stories share a common connection which will only make sense once you reach the very end.

Tales from the Campfire – From A Night of Terror Films

Measures are taken to keep each story separate. This includes applying a VHS-style filter to the second tale, and opting to show the zombie story in black-and-white (likely a nod to Night of the Living Dead). But the overall tone is consistently the same, which can best be described as an adult version of the Nickelodeon series Are You Afraid of the Dark?  As a whole, the film seems to have a modern creepypasta vibe to it as well — with the second story (my personal favorite) being the best example.

As a low-budget indie film, however, it’s not going to be the visual appeal the movie relies upon.  Although I enjoyed the stylistic differences between the three tales, it’s the passion of the filmmakers shining through which makes the film so entertaining. Like real campfire ghost stories, the tales in this film seem to be just as much fun for the storytellers to tell as they are for us to enjoy. Oddly, it’s a horror movie that made me feel good to watch.

Tales from the Campfire gives you what it promises. It’s a fun horror anthology film that might make you long for the days of these simpler types ghost stories. And I’ll be damned if I’m not inspired now to call up some friends and set up a night around the campfire myself sometime soon.

Next: How to make the next Friday the 13th film

Tales from the Campfire is not currently available to stream or to purchase. However, you can find out more info about the film on Facebook!