5 of 6 Viewers "Liked" "The Houses October Built" (2014,USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:
Book Wyrm - "This movie terrified me although the ending was a bit lackluster. I got confused at the end and didn't know who was who. I now have no desire to ever go to a haunt ever but I enjoyed the film nonetheless." - 4 Stars
Lord Battle - "It's 2014, if you plan on making a found footage film you better bring something new to the table, luckily for "The Houses October Built" the haunts steal the film." - 3 1/2 Stars
Drum Machine - "Decent job building the story but the ending didn't really payoff. It was a great promo for haunts." - 3 Stars
Huntress - "Although this movie reinforced my fear of cross country RV trips, it didn't play out like I had hoped. I loved the idea and the story, but felt somehow unfulfilled when it was over, maybe because the fear you feel in a haunt wasn't successfully conveyed through the film and it took too long to get the story I was expecting. As the details came together, this movie did get very creepy but it felt limited." - 3 1/2 Stars
Ice Giant - "The haunts in the movie were awesome, the movie was okay but how they stupidly went along with everything was a little frustrating even for horror movie characters. It really made me want to visit a haunt." - 3 1/2 Stars
Math Mage - "This film had the disadvantage of following a viewing of the actually scary Silent Hill playable trailer. - Spoiler - The ending would have been better if it actually had been a haunt and it ended with the employees frantically digging the girl up to save her from hyperventilating, maybe that did happen & the fools are all fine and they posted the video to draw up publicity for Blue Skeleton. But now I feel I'm making excuses for them." - 2 Stars
The trailer below is the better of the 3 circulating, with that said I still feel too much is shown. So watch at your own risk!
The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
"The Houses October Built" is a typical run of the mill found footage film. It does offer the unique usage of actual footage taken of real haunts and some pretty creepy characters (i.e. Doll girl above) but other than that, nay say-ers of found footage should stay away.
With that said, I myself love found footage, I personally feel the "gimmick" has proven it's staying power and deserves a fair shot whenever released. Sadly, "The Houses October Built" falls very short in it's creative department, so much so that it seems to borrow a little too much from the haunts that let them film within. To the films credit, they did create some awesome characters to inhabit the haunts and eventually stalk them through the country. This is incredibly important for the film since the main characters are poorly fleshed out and are almost interchangeable.
The most enjoyable part of this film for the Overlook Theatre came after the credits rolled. Now I'm not being snarky and ironic, I'm actually being serious. Drum Machine always likes to talk about his theory of the "Blair Witch Project", In his theory the girl in the group is actually leading the guys out in the woods to kill them. She does this of course to empower her film. "The Houses October Built" has a very similar situation going on, this time it involves the internet and a mysterious person posting about them. I actually think Drum Machines theory is stronger when applied to this film simply because a lot of things make much more sense when using this motive. Also the character who really wants to film this extreme haunt seems to find things like the forum that carried the video of them sleeping, which would definitely fit into this theory.
The other element that really works with the inside job theory is the ways in which people were scared. In the film, everyone talks about what they fear most and after the first appearance of the Doll girl, the haunts seem to be tailored to their personal fears. The best example of this that I can think of right now would be the way they handled the female character at the end. First she was separated from the group, which they of course said they would make sure didn't happen again (After the bathroom incident). Then at the conclusion of the film, she is buried unmasked in a small wooden coffin. This has to be because she stated earlier that she was claustrophobic (when she was trapped in a haunt earlier in the film).
At the end of the day, "The Houses October Built" was a fun film, one I'm not sure I would revisit soon but one I'd likely buy. This film is for horror fans only, don't waste your time showing tourists.
- Lord Battle
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.