The Houses October Built – Review

Posted by    |    November 30th, 2011 at 9:44 pm

The Houses October BuiltI was invited to a documentary movie private screening in McKinney, Texas last Saturday Night. My first thought was, “Why McKinney, Texas?” In retrospect, it couldn’t have been shown in a better place.

On the invitation it listed an address of a beautiful large home within Aero Country East Airport. We parked in the field next door and there were cars that transported us across the runway to a large airplane hangar. As we entered, we could now see it has been transformed into a movie theater .

The guests ranged from young hip socialites to older professionals.

Fresh off their Grand Prize win at Shockfest Hollywood where they were asked to open for Eli Roth (Hostel & Inglorious Basterds), the filmmakers entered the room. Originally both from Plano now residing in Los Angeles, The Director and Producer, Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews, came to the front and thanked us for attending. They also made a couple special thanks to the cast members that were in the crowd.

Now to the feature presentation.

The film, “The Houses October Built” is a documentary that sheds light on what really goes on in Halloween Haunted Houses. Both the good and the downright demented. On their IMDb page, it mentions that, “In October 2011, over 30 million people will visit Halloween Haunted Houses.” That is a very large number if you ask me! But it’s factual, I checked.

The movie was very well shot with a great story line: the cast members embark in an RV to different Haunted Houses around the South. Every night they interview owners and eclectic scare actors regarding their experiences and thoughts about the industry. An interesting comment from one of the owners that stuck out to me was that many of the cast members had 9 to 5 jobs and were white collar workers. I always thought high school kids made up the majority of actors dressed up in tattered, bloody clothing; but I might be wrong. Some of these people were nurses, dentists, and special forces. How would you like to know your dentist moonlights as a ghoul? I personally find it cool.

Another haunted house owner discussed when people inquire about working there, the management does not take the time to do background checks. This gave me an uneasy feeling that some cast members could be convicted felons… holding real chainsaws…exerting large amounts of anger… in blocked off rooms…where there is no way to monitor anything that is happening! Creepy!

The dark and drafty hangar really went well with the documentary — comparable to the feeling of an actual haunted house in an ominous setting.

The second half of this movie uncovers things I cannot begin to spoil. Very fascinating, but also very terrifying. This is a word of mouth movie I can assure you will find its way into theaters next fall.

The after party was “first class” and decorated to the nines with the movie’s theme, stacked with promotional give-aways, hors d’oeuvres and a full bar. You could feel that people enjoyed the movie by the excitement and discussions in the room.

I know it’s Christmas time, but because of this movie, sugarplums are not dancing through my head…skulls and witches are. Halloween can’t come soon enough.

(Movie produced by Foreboding Films)

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