It is always a sad sight in the days after Halloween to see the festivities out by the curb. It's almost as painful as the mid-October shift in stores to Christmas.
But this day is here, and we are can live it. Enjoy it. Be terrified by what we like, be it house, or kid at the door, or movie we enjoy.
So let's head into...
The Houses October Built.
The film is something of a labor of love by Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews. They were both interested in getting a horror film made on their own terms. They like the idea of a documentary/found footage look to the film, to help blur lines between real and fake. When they started work on this movie, found footage hadn't yet exploded to where it is now.
They wanted an insular quality to the film, with a group of friends crammed together, heading into a darkness they didn't really understand. The characters are eager for an extreme haunting experience. An experience beyond what others get to have. So they push to get a mysterious and hidden group to let them in on the ride.
And some of them might survive it.
The film acts as a documentary of sorts. It is treated as if it has been put together from all the video taken during the film.
A portion of this film follows them meeting and interviewing people who work and run haunted houses around South Central United States.
And many of these interviews are real. They met and talked with people working at these places, getting their stories. So we get in on some real experiences.
And some of it was planned.
That is an interesting aspect to this film. What are the real dark stories of the Haunt world? And what are ones made for the film? And how many of the real ones are more than tall tales?
The reality of the film is blurred.
More so, it is blurred as the cast of leads is mostly made of guys who know each other, and weren't all regular actors. So they at least had preexisting chemistry.
The one that stand out on this is Brandy, played by Brandy Schaefer. She is a professional actress, and was hired to work with the guys. She adds a needed extra layers of personality, friendliness, and non-Bro-ity. Without her there, the guys would grow to be a bit obnoxious to watch.
Hanging out with them for awhile before filming helped her establish chemistry with the rest of the cast.
The group is heading out across the region together to film a look at "Haunts". They want to look and talk to people about them. And then they want to chase down the extreme ones. The really extreme ones. Something that will shake even the most jaded horror fan.
I don't entirely get it. A scare is nice. But put yourself at risk is just ridiculous.
It is summed nicely for me by one interview in the film. He is draped over his significant other. He jokes about she is fine with the Haunt they are at. But not him. Oh, no. He wants something where they get in your face and then shove.
It reminds me of the guys that tell you how they would handle a robbery, about all there moves. It is all talk. There is an unknown when you walk into a fly by night Haunt. But seeking people that will whip a bull machete near your head, is begging for someone to get seriously hurt. And for what? I am not clear.
As they go they will film it all, even in the RV they're sharing. And unlike some films where the camera seems like an outsider, it is shared among them. They all have agreed on what they want to do, and treat it as part of there fun in the haunted houses. As they move along it is mostly about them sharing this adventure.
So they go from Haunt to Haunt, seeing what is being offered,
They have fun, and some jumps. They interview. And they step on some toes, as they try to sneak around, and take video in places they are warned off from.
But the range of experiences out there is nice to see. (Not all of them, but most are.)
So this is, by and large, feeling like a documentary of people out enjoying their Halloween. But then things start to blur.
Strange events start to pop up , as they go. They are working to connect with a mysterious Haunt group called the Blue Skeleton.
Blue Skeleton is secretive, and just whispered and rumored about. They apparently run the most wild and extreme experience you can have. So one has to know where to go and who to talk to. And the crew is eager to try it out.
So they make there way, and odd events start to occur. It is almost like the Haunts aren't ending when they leave them. They are following them, making them nervous and uncomfortable.
Maybe it's just that they are rubbing people the wrong way, and pissed Haunt workers are playing tricks on them. Maybe they happen to be crossing the occasionally unstable worker, who wants to mess with them. Maybe it's all chance.
But soon the Blue Skeleton definitely comes calling.
But is it all a game? Or, are they all walking into their doom?
If you like, you can give it a watch and find out. If you dare.
And, hopefully, come next Halloween I can give this film a full discussion. And, maybe, I can take a look at it's sequel.
Happy Halloween everyone.