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REVIEW: THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT (2014)

As the weather starts to get colder and Fall officially kicks into full gear you can’t help but think about Halloween and all the things that come along with it. From pumpkin spiced everything to your Halloween costume – it’s a pretty rad time of year. Something I look forward to every Halloween season is the opening of local haunted attractions around the country. Most of these owners put A LOT of pride and hard work into creating another world for us to step into and leave reality at the door to get scared for a few hours. Other haunts can be careless with hazards around every corner and actors that might be just as scary in real life as the characters they play. Not providing background checks on actors is not a smart thing to do. I have some experience being in and around the haunt industry for a few years myself I know how hard it can be to find reliable dependable actors just to show up every night so your haunt and be a functional business.The ever growing EXTREME haunt concept could have a few bad eggs slip through the cracks. Beneath the fake blood and cheap masks of countless haunted house attractions across the country, there are whispers of truly terrifying alternatives.

This is the underworld world THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT explore in a unique found footage movie. I say unique a bit with my tongue in cheek as 5 friend go looking for an authentic, blood-curdling good fright for Halloween to track down these underground Haunts and plan to film it as a documentary. While it’s not unique in the device used to capture the footage it does have a unique topic to build the film around and it is being released at the perfect time. Haunting season.

The five fiends travel around what appears to be Texas (Hangman’s Hollow). Lets get one of the few cliche moments out of the way right off the bat – that being the uncontrollable giggling on the RV setup in a quick cut scene after someone downed a few to many pot brownies. These kind of moments are inserted in the film to provide ebs and flow in the storyline much like a haunted attraction has a few calm moments before they hit you with a creepy animatronic pop-up scene. So like them or not they do serve a purpose.  But where the film is truly effective is when they weave in components of real news footage about horrific accidents that actually happened at haunted attractions across the country. Some of the examples were extreme haunts pushing the limits as far as they can go before causing actual harm to a customer, while others were mere accidents. One such story spotlights an actor that hung himself in the haunt while patrons walk by thinking it is just an elaborate prop or part of the show. Other news stories spotlight actors that have been hired without going through a background check that turns out to be a cold blooded killer. This type of thing struck a nerve in the Kansas City haunt community recently when an actor was allegedly accused or raping his female co-worker inside the haunt. In the past the same haunt had their sidewalk entertainer accused of taking home an under age customer.

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While all of these news clips are disturbing, they are only a small piece of the film. Mixing the clips in truly starts to blur the lines between what is real and what is fake as the group of  friends hit up haunt after haunt on their search for the most extreme haunted attraction. The idea is genius in a way because it can be made very cheaply while still providing a creep factor.

If you love the anticipation of waiting in line at your local haunt for a scare then you will dig this movie. However if you think haunted attractions are bogus and for kids only, then you should just admit you have given up on imagination and life then go yell at a kid to get off your lawn. Check it out, tell me what you think in the comments below and hopefully I’ll see you in line at your local haunted attraction.