Cameron’s Closet (1988)

camerons closet poster 1988 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

Ok concept

Poorly executed, dull

Movie Info

Movie Name: Cameron’s Closet

Studio:  Smart Egg Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  June 23, 1988 (International Science Fiction & Fantasy Film Festival)/December 2, 1988 (UK)/January 13, 1989 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

camerons closet monster

What’s in the closet?

Owen Lansing (Tab Hunter) has a secret.  Through years of experimenting, he’s tapped in to an ability that everyone might have…in his young son Cameron (Scott Curtis).  Unfortunately, unleashing Cameron’s psychic abilities has led to something that cannot be turned off and the physical manifestation of Cameron’s powers is lurking in his closet…awaiting the next kill!  When his mother Dory (Kim Lankford) and her boyfriend Bob Froelich (Gary Hudson) discover Cameron’s powers, a police psychologist named Nora Haley (Mel Harris) and an officer named Sam Talliaferro (Cotter Smith) must find a way to stop the circle of death before it is too late.

Directed by Armand Mastroianni, Cameron’s Closet is a supernatural psychic horror movie.  The film was released to mixed reviews but has gained a small following over the years.

camerons closet ceiling fan scott curtis

You know you don’t have to go all the way up there to turn the fan off, Cameron

I remember the VCR tape of Cameron’s Closet at the local video store and considering renting it multiple times…only to decide that it looked too cheap.  Watching it years later, my assessment isn’t wrong, but the look isn’t the biggest problem of the film.

The movie has a plot that bounces all over.  The basic concept is sound, but the movie misses the big picture by tying in all the psychic abilities, totems, and other things.  Closets are a terrifying thing as a child.  They are dark and when you turn off the lights, there might be something inside of them.  There are things in Cameron’s Closet, but it just tries too hard with the medical experiment plotline instead of the monster plotline…if Cameron had simply completely manifested a monster, the movie would be much better.  Instead, Cameron’s Closet just ends up clunky.

The movie isn’t aided by any of the acting.  Surprisingly, Scott Curtis is one of the better actors in the film even though he is a child actor.  The rest of the cast almost feels like they are reading lines.  Both Tab Hunter and Chuck McCann (who did a ton of voice work) feel like they just took the project for the check…and it plays that way in their performances as well.

camerons closet chuck mccann killed

Global warming is a real danger

The movie has that ’80s feel to it, but not in a good way.  Slasher films of the period had a real asthetic but in visual and tone, and B-Movie style horror movies feel like knock offs of those.  Cameron’s Closet feels like it toes the B-Movie line (I don’t think it really is a B-Movie), but it has the B-Movie look and feel that doesn’t help the overall film.

Cameron’s Closet isn’t a great entry in the 1980s horror lexicon.  There are much better movies with similar plots and similar ideas.  If you want a goofy movie with closet monsters, see Monster in the Closet.  If you want a scary movie, watch something like PoltergeistCameron’s Closet misses the mark on both scary and funny…and feels like a waste of time.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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