Horror Movie Review: The Houses October Built (2014)
Just to confuse this was actually titled The Houses of Halloween when I watched it for reasons I don’t know. An internet search for The Houses of Halloween will only result in the original title & there seems to be no explanation for the name change. It doesn’t really matter though as this found-footage horror is a terrible jump scare-athon.
So found-footage, eh? Here we go again…
The movie opens with an up close shot of a woman being put in the boot/trunk of a car. She appears to have blood over her clothes…as she begins to stir we jump back to a few days earlier.
We have five friends who are looking for the ultimate scares this Halloween (2014). They are road-tripping their way across America in an RV checking out haunted house attractions along the way. Of course they are documenting this with cameras that they seem to barely know how to use. Get used to darkness & grainy footage because there is a lot of it here.
Anyway…along the way they interview people attending these places as well as staff of the ‘haunts’ & they begin to hear about other potential terrifying places. Ones where things are more real then you could ever expect.
Along the way though they begin to encounter strange occurrences such as people following them, being filmed as they sleep & generally creepy behaviour from some of the haunt actors. Almost none of it is particularly interesting or scary except one clever shot of the RV being surrounded by a medley of costumed people. The impact of that moment is quickly lost though as our 5 just go to bed anyway.
The story is predictable as hell…from the start you know that their urgency to see a really scary haunt means they will get one but it will probably cost them their lives…and it does. The final 15 minutes are probably the most frustrating as you strain to see what is going on in near darkness before it settles on its big ending which, while horrible in real life, lacks impact here because who cares about these people?
Like all bad found-footage horror movies the constant filming makes little sense here. I became convinced that some of them had surgically attached the cameras to themselves, they brought them everywhere & several times a camera user would zoom into someone trying to be creepy in the background but not make mention of it to the rest of the group.
The 5 friends aren’t bad actors but they lack any personalities that differentiate them from each other. They are a boring group of people who make poor decisions constantly. Basic horror movie rule here…don’t insult the scary psycho looking man’s home.
Some of the costumes involved were pretty cool looking; the doll girl in particular. Clown costumes are over-used here, once you’ve seen one scary clown you’ve seen them all.
A disappointing lack of gore even at the end is really disappointing too, the film seemed tailor made for a bat-shit crazy ending with blood flying but it never even gets close.
It will end & you’ll think “Is that it?”…
Just another in a long line of terrible found footage horror. The concept might seem interesting at first but it’s poorly handled & would have been better as a documentary (similar to the brief interview snippets we get throughout).
The Houses October Built
The Final Score - 2/10