When I first saw the trailer for the movie The Houses October Built I was immediately intrigued by such an interesting concept.
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...
When I found the movie on On Demand, I quickly popped some popcorn, spent $2.99 for the rental, turned off the lights and began a thrilling journey that would make me question whether I'd ever go into a haunted house again. The movie definitely has its effects on the thoughts of what haunted houses actually are. The film is more of a documentary than audiences would think. The audience watches multiple interviews with workers in haunted houses from all around America, giving us insight on how the operations work in a typical haunt.
As the movie continues, the interviews become not as heavy as in the beginning and it turns into an eerie game of cat and mouse that gives the characters, as well as audience, shivers down their spines. Though it may not be like other movies in the genre, it's one that stands out among the rest. After many years of typical found-footage horror films, it's rare that we get introduced to fresh and new ideas. Think of Paranormal Activity for example. The franchise has definitely run its course and it's likely a good idea that the next movie, The Ghost Dimension, will be its last. This film though breathes some fresh air into the way the story is told.
Although the acting wasn't the greatest, it's just above average. The characters are all likable in some way, shape or form, giving the audiences someone to care about in the group. The scares and creep factor are on point with one another, making sure that the audience doesn't feel like they're watching a movie, but rather that they are stuck in the horrific days leading up to the final scene. I will say that the ending of the film is a bit anti-climatic, but it goes along with the simplicity of the scares. It's nothing supernatural by any means, which helps ground the story and reality, making the film that much more intense.