Title: Horse Camp
Arc Entertainment
Director: Joel Paul Reisig
Writer: Joel Paul Reisig
Cast: Dean Cain, Jordan Trovillion, Rachel Sowers, Kristen Ryda
Running time: 107 min, Rated PG (bullying)
Special Features: None
Available on DVD & VOD: February 24, 2015

Kathy (Jordan Trovillion) is a 17 year old girl who dreams of riding a horse. Her dad Luke (Dean Cain) is a former bull rider who trains aspiring bull riders, and her mom is a barrel rider. After her dad has a rodeo accident, severely injuring his leg, her parents decide that horses are too dangerous for their only child.  Kathy finds out about the Black River Horse Camp for girls and she tells them that since they want her to get out and socialize, they need to allow her to go. Once she arrives, she’s the designated nerd who knows nothing about horses. She meets the resident camp princess Stacy (Kristen Ryda) who bullies Kathy, telling her she needs to lose weight.  She is forced to bunk with the other non-conformist Lisa (Rachel Sowers), with whom they become inseparable fast friends.

Kathy meets her dream horse Sundance who will not allow anyone to ride him – so of course it becomes her mission to befriend and ride him.  Lisa introduces Kathy to the miniature horses which she befriends the oldest one in the camp. She soon has her first opportunity to ride a horse, which impresses  Stacy’s entourage so much, they even call her a natural.  With all the new respect and attention, the popular girls welcome her into the fold where she takes an interest in her looks. Lisa feels left out and they decide to break off their friendship. Kathy enjoys her popularity at first, and dethroning Stacy as the contender for Camp Princess; but then she feels guilty for how she treated her one true friend. Kathy decides to chuck her new persona, get back into her love of horses and goes against the rules to ride Sundance bareback in the camp show as well as prove herself to her parents.  In the end she is crowned camp princess and in order to patch things up with her best and only friend, she declares Lisa the better choice as camp princess.

The Good: There are some cute/funny scenes like when the parents are talking about Kathy who speaks up by saying “I’m right here.” I asked my 14 year old stepdaughter what she liked about this movie. She said, “The horses,” and she also stated that it had a good lesson about being nice to people even if they’re weird, and don’t try to be popular.

The Bad: I asked my stepdaughter if there’s anything good she could say about this film, and she replied with a “Nope.” Dean Cain are you really that strapped for cash? Someone give the brother a handout. The soundtrack alone will make you want to eat a bullet. Many of the songs are cheery Sunday School-type songs, but the poppy songs played with the montages (OF WHICH THERE ARE SEVERAL) are like a cross between Barney and Kids Bop with a filler of “na na na na na…” There’s one scene where Kathy and the entourage sing a song about Titanic. I thought “Wow they got enough funding to sing My Heart Will Go On?” No. It’s some long religious song about people dying on the Titanic. Ugh, forget waterboarding,  they just need to play this film on loop in Guantanamo.

Horse Camp is basically a commercial for The Black River Farm and Ranch  – which is a real place. My stepdaughter got really excited that Horse Camp is real. Unfortunately after looking it up, she was disappointed to discover that this place is for rich kids, but good on you if you can afford it.

Acting: C-
Story: D
Technical: D
Total Rating: D
Reviewed by: JM Willis

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