The Houses October Built (2014)

logoDirector: Bobby Roe

Writer: Zack Andrews, Bobby Roe, Jason Zada (Screenplay)

Starring: Brandy Schaefer, Zack Andrews, Bobby Roe, Mike Roe, Jeff Larson

 

Plot: 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.

 

Verdict: Shaky Cam Time

 

Story: We start by learning about the history of how in America 2500 Haunted Houses open over Halloween, we also learn about myths behind certain ones can help raise their appeal. We move to meet our five friends who want to go on a road trip to find the best haunted house resort. We see the group set up their cameras and hit the road in their RV. We see how they don’t make any friends at the first house and get a few extra scares by the workers at the house. As they continue their journey the group is continually haunted by the members of the first haunted house. All this leads to the extreme haunt they were questing for, but how much will be real?

This really comes off very confusing, very messy and nearly impossible to watch. Saying that it does touch on an interesting source material, looking at extreme tourism and how people will always look for the next level in scares. It gets shot like a documentary but plays out like a road trip and as for the moments in the ‘haunts’ we just end up watching black screens due to the terrible lighting. It fits into the bog standard found footage idea for a story, that usually all end up the same. It offers nothing new to the genre and is easily forgettable. (3/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Cast: As the whole group play what is meant to be themselves we get the usual bounding and companionship along their journey. We see how they look out for each other during the moments of unexplained material. They all try their best to come off and look like they would all be friends and have enough scare reaction to convince but too many of the scares are just false ones.

 

Director Review: Bobby Roe – I am usually a fan of found footage films, but this was hard to follow and showed poor direction. (3/10)

 

Horror: Too many false jumps and confusing jump shots ruin the ending which could have been strong. (4/10)

Thriller: Because of the false jumps you lose interest in caring what happens to the characters. (3/10)

Settings: Even though the idea of haunted house would make good ideas for setting the lighting ruined any chance of them being used well. (2/10)

Suggestion: This won’t appeal to enough people to suggest to anyone, the camera work is very jumpy and too much is just darkness. (Miss It)

 

Best Part: The Creepy Kid

Worst Part: Camera Work

Improvement Ideas:

  • Dump the found footage
  • Make the ending make more sense, by shooting each character rather than 5 seconds of each jump 5 seconds again and keep jumping between them.
  • Cut the attempted false jump scares down

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

Overall: Black Screens and jumpy Camera Disaster

Rating 20

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7 comments on “The Houses October Built (2014)

    • I do feel the found footage ideas can still work but you need to have a natural idea for using the camera like some of the VHS franchises use. but just running around holding one makes no sense anymore

  1. Ahhh… another one of those stories! I really wish film-makers start understanding that repeating things won’t help and in horror what really appeals is the ‘horror’! lol!
    Anyway, great review 🙂

  2. For me, this was the best found footage I’ve seen in some time (and I’ve been running through them lately). I’ve never seen a found footage flick that used this concept, and I cared about the characters, they felt very organic imo. An awesome Halloween addition, if you ask me.

    • as Halloween isn’t that big to me i have never cared for haunted houses (yet i would like to do paranormal ghost hunting) and i don’t really like extreme tourism which probably made me dislike this from the start.

  3. Very good analysis. I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of the film. I found it to be lacking on every conceivable level, with the exception of the cast, who I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to, as to their doing the best they could with what they were given to work with.

    Less than half way through the film, I realized, my friend and I should have ordered the other selection, on direct TV, that we had been considering.

    As you stated in your blog, the movie was almost impossible to watch, and offered absolutely nothing new to the found footage, sub-genre of horror.

    • Thanks. the thing that let me down about the film the most, was that it does offer an interesting idea and can reflect what we as an audience want to see in horror now, we seem to want more than ever before, when less ends up being scarier

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