Crypt-ober: Grounds for Horror (Tales from the Cryptkeeper)

When I was a young boy, I was a Boy Scout. And I hated it. I hated the stupid merit badges, I hated the repetitive meetings, and I HATED the camping. In short, I really don’t like the Boy Scouts. But one thing I DID like was the campfire stories. Today’s tale deals with a summer camp with a counselor who hates his job. In fact, he is more of a drill  sergeant than a Summer Camp worker. So, can this counselor see the appeal of the great outdoors and fun, or is this episode lost in the woods? Let’s find out in Grounds for Horror.

Head Counselor Bill works at Camp Rockbottom and he treats his job as if he’s in the military. He doesn’t allow the kids to have fun of any kind. Unfortunately, he’s angered a being called Hoser who really hates adults. Now Bill keeps being tossed around by some invisible force. Who is Hoser and why can’t adults see him?

Bill is a jerk. Luckily, we get a little bit of an explanation as to why. Seems he worked hard all his life and never let himself have any fun. That’s all well and good, but I still hated him. I hated him from line one and I continued to hate him until his last moment on screen. The kids, though, were all fun to watch. They even got a few funny lines while they tried to find ways to have fun. The episode does a really good job of balancing the story between the jerk and the kids.

Even with the good characters, there’s nothing really new about the story here. All this is is your basic Summer Camp Horror Story with the monster in the woods. I will say that Bill’s karmic retribution was fun to watch, but his ultimate turn around to have some fun felt really rushed. He just sorta says “Okay, fine, I’ll have some fun.” That’s it. It was really clumsily done and forced. We never see Hoser, either. We see his shadow, but never a direct shot of him. Honestly, it took away from the story that we didn’t even see him once. I was really excited to see what cool character they could have made, but oh well.

The animation of this episode was really good, but the best parts of the animation were the beautiful backgrounds. I mean it, these are some really good shots of the outdoors. There was one particular shot of a lake at sundown that I would frame for the use of color alone. I know it’s weird to praise the backgrounds of an episode, but these were just exceptionally well done.

That’s about it, I guess. This was a decent episode. Great? No, Bill was a bit too jerkish and the lesson felt forced. But it was at least still enjoyable to watch. Heck, it even made me think that going to a Summer Camp maybe would have been fun when I was a kid. Oh well. I guess you can’t really relive your childhood. Or, maybe you can, according to this episode.


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