Horror Movie Review: The Houses October Built

Title: The Houses October Built
Genre: Horror, Found Footage-ish
Director: Bobby Roe
Writers: Zack Andrews
Stars: Brandy Schaefer, Zack Andrews, Bobby Roe
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1958043/

HERE MAY BE SPOILERS

Portions of the movie may or may not be revealed.

Synopsis: Beneath the fake blood and cheap masks of countless haunted house attractions across the country, there are whispers of truly terrifying alternatives. Looking to find an authentic, blood-curdling good fright for Halloween, five friends set off on a road trip in an RV to track down these underground Haunts. Just when their search seems to reach a dead end, strange and disturbing things start happening and it becomes clear that the Haunt has come to them…

Today we have a found-footage (i.e. some of the film was shot with a hand-held camera) movie. As terrible as some of them are, I love watching them, up to a point. If the first fifteen minutes are super ridiculous, like it was with some movie I can’t even remember at this point, I will turn it off.

The Houses October Built is quite a creepy movie. The gist of the movie is that five friends travel in an RV on old back roads of the countryside(you know that’s already trouble) to find the underground haunted houses which contain the REAL scares. Because, you know, the extreme haunted houses just aren’t enough scares for these people. And, I supposed bored twenty-somethings need a “real scare” to wake them out of their stylish boredom.

Of course, on the way, they’re asking the haunted house actors about the underground haunted houses where the terror is real.

Sigh. Mind you, the movie is framed as a documentary. Just seeing the interviews with these haunted house “players” was enough for me. Some of these folks were scary even without the makeup. In addition, it’s implied some of these folks are on the shady side of the law, and might not be the best folks to be trusted. Despite that, the trio soldiers on, visiting haunted house after haunted house and interviewing the people who work them.

Would you even talk to this …person?

Eventually, the trip turns weird, because, you know plot. They are being followed by a creepy crew who don’t speak but just stare, a la The Strangers. Instead of turning around and driving all night to get home, (because, movie) they continue on this trip and are stalked by some nefarious miscreants.

Like her…or him?

All in all, the movie was averagely (is that a word) satisfying and the haunted house themselves give you a bit of a scare, while the people they interview give you an overall uneasy vibe.

I do wish the ending had been different. If you want to know what I’m talking about, scroll past the SPOILERS.

All in all I say, take the ride with the movie. If you resist the urge to get annoyed at some of the actors’ decisions, you’ll finish the movie with a couple of genuinely creepy moments.

Grade: B — The characters grew to be rather stupid and thus unlikable, but as a horror movie, they do deliver on the scares.

Note: There is a film of the same name from 2011. I have not seen that one, but from what I read about it, it’s more of a documentary than fictionalized horror movie. The same people are in it and they use some of the real clips of the interviews in the 2014 film.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

The ending was a flop for me because it ended up being just a bunch of killers. I would have liked it to be just an extreme haunted house experience. I think that would have made the entire movie much more interesting.

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