Saturday, October 26, 2013

Disney XD's BUNKS - Hallowe'en Tale for Kids, Easy on the Scare, Heavy on the Fun

Disney XD’s ‘Bunks’ scares the little ones this Halloween

Two teenaged boys decide that they will not go to boot camp as their exasperated parents planned. After all they did burn down the house and boot camp is a scared straight type of place. All of which makes for a terrible summer, sure to ruin any chance at fun or romance. So brothers Dane (Aidan Shipley) and Dylan (Dylan Schmid) plot to pull a switch.
Summer camp buses for both boot camp and Camp Bushwack are leaving from the same location so it’s not much trouble for the boys to grab a pen and clipboard and send two unsuspecting Camp Bushwhackers to get on the wrong bus. Dane and Dylan simply assume their names and head off to fun times, or so they hope.
Once at Camp Bushwack, they encounter Wookie (Atticus Mitchell) who likes a bit of mischief but also likes abiding by the rules. Dylan and Dane do not. The boys are billeted in cabin Chipmunk and the others are cabin Badger, but they might as well be the Hatfields and McCoys so intense is their rivalry.
A camper reads aloud from a book of stories found in a supposedly haunted cabin nearby. Sitting around the campfire, reading scary stories and roasting marshmallows seems like the perfect summer experience, until the stories start coming true. Enter the Zombie! It wreaks havoc and infects Wookie and the other campers one by one. It’s now up to Dane and Dylan to find a cure for the zombieism.
Some sequences might have been too frightening if the filmmakers hadn’t kept the tone in check for its young targeted audience. In one scene, Dane’s under attack by a former Badger turned zombie and looking scared, really scared. Shipley says “I got notes on that! The director told me to tone it down, that I was looking too scared!” Much care was taken to ensure a good experience for young and impressionable moviegoers.
But a real life scare rocked Mitchell’s world briefly. He was tied to a pole when Wookie was a zombie. “The leash was so tight I was choking. And I couldn’t talk.” Mitchell says the situation was soon controlled and he went right back to work.
Bunks has a good story, winning young actors and a sweetness at its core. Parents and kids will enjoy it and its positive outlook.
Bunks is Canada’s first ever original movie for the Disney XD channel, shot in Winnipeg and Kenora, and it’s a treat for kids 6 – 12. It’s about a Zombie Apocalypse at summer camp, for sure, but it’s gentle and only a little bit scary – not traumatizing. In fact there is sweetness at its core. The young actors are all terrific especially the leads and it’s really fun and perfect family viewing.
Bunks airs on Disney XD Sunday, October 27 at 8 p.m. EST and again on Halloween night at 8 p.m. EST. For more info, visit

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