HORRORATHON Film Review: The Houses October Built (2014)

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Starring: Brandy Schaefer, Zach Andrews, Bobby Roe

Directed by: Bobby Roe

Reviewed by: Phantomhour (Brendan Graham)

Every October, Millions of people from all over the world visit haunted attractions in order to find the perfect scare. Everyone is looking for a bigger, better and more realistic scare, and so every year haunts come up with new ways to horrify. What happens when a haunt goes too far?

Ever since I saw the trailer for Houses, I was very excited. I’m a haunted house enthusiast, and I thought it was about time that a found footage film actually tackled that world.  How well was this pulled off? Well, for being an independent film, not too shabby.

the-houses-october-built-trailer

A group of friends rent an RV for a cross country road trip to find the most extreme haunted house attractions in the country. But when every stop is too tame for them, they find word of a group called Blue Skeleton, who apparently are the top name in extreme horror. But instead of finding them, the haunt hunts them down.

Found footage suits this presentation, the camera work looks good, it adds good intensity without being nauseating. The story is fascinating, delving into the world of who works these haunts, how many of them are felons, or sex offenders. They also talk about the real accidents and deaths that can occur inside these places. As a sort of documentary/mockumentary, it’s effective and draws you in.

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However, the cast isn’t very likable, and you never get any real backstory to the friends. So it was very hard to care about any of them and what was about to happen. That’s more of the script, rather than the acting. Though the cast that plays the haunt crews, and the real actors that they interview were pretty spot on, especially the girl that plays the creepy doll lady…heebie jeebies a plenty.

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The ending is way too predictable to be effective, and feels even lazy. You pretty much know what’s going to happen from square one, and they don’t even try to swerve off that path. Which is very frustrating.

Final Score:

mediocre

 

A solid premise that doesn’t take the opportunity to take found footage into a new direction. Still, worth a watch if you enjoy haunted house attractions.

5.5 doll masks out of 10.

Scares: 5/10, jump scares, some intense sequences with camera work.

Gore: 4/10, only gore is in the haunted houses and a little hint here and there throughout the film.

Beware! Scary clowns, masks, dolls, jump scares, annoying friends, found footage.

 

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