From YouTube to cinema: Camp Takota review

Elise ends up in Camp Takota after her life crumbles. The social media manager gets fired after a social media mix-up and discovers her fiancé is cheating on her.

Life in Camp Takota offers a restart. She has friends, time and space to reassess her life and goals. All that healing is put at risk when the camp's future is thrown into doubt. To save the camp Elise and her friends must change their lives in ways none had expected.

I enjoyed Camp Takota despite the synopsis falling safely into the type of movie I would normally try to avoid.

I enjoyed the film for all the right reasons. The main actors, Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart, performed strongly. The plot twists are tight, believable and engaging. The film is well-shot, easy to watch and engaging.

I actually cared about the fate of Camp Takota. Sure, the mobile app-developing villain is dangerously close to a parody too far… close, but not over the line. I watched the villain flop about and was unaware that I knew Shoreditch hipsters cut from the same archetypical cloth.

I watched Camp Takota on my big Philips screen in the living room. The movie was streamed via the PC in the spare room, which had legally downloaded Camp Tatoka from the web.

In fact, if you want to watch Camp Takota, this is the route you’ll likely take. That’s one of two reasons I was watching the movie in the first place.

I had two reasons to watch Camp Takota. Firstly, I had no choice. My partner is a loyal fan of the YouTube channels of the three main actresses; Grace Helbig runs It’s Grace, Mamrie Hart runs You Deserve a Drink and Hannah Hart runs My Harto with over 1 million subscribers and is famous for My Drunk Kitchen. The three are YouTubers and vloggers. We had pre-ordered the movie and behind-the-scenes documentary when it was first announced.

The other reason I was going to watch an American camp movie (not a natural choice for a gamer geek in Scotland) was because I had faith in the team. The YouTube antics of the three actresses are great. We watched the live stream of the trio celebrating as Hannah hit the 1 million mark. It was 3am when that happened here in Scotland, but they’d kept us entertained.

Sure enough, Camp Takota proves to me that YouTubers with real personality, wit and acting skills can front a film. It also proves to me that YouTube celebrities can successfully promote a film.

I enjoyed the film more than I thought I would. The surprise for me was how well these three YouTube stars acted. I wasn’t surprised at how well the movie was put together or promoted.

I expect – and hope – we’ll see more of this. The costs of making good quality content are coming down. The skill sets are out there. We should all benefit from the extra diversity and competition.


This article has moved. It was first featured on Zebra Eclipse in 2013 before moving here and being back-dated in 2024.

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