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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Exploitation > Grindhouse > Haunted Houses > Remake > The Houses That October Built (2014/Image Entertainment Blu-ray)

The Houses That October Built (2014/Image Entertainment Blu-ray)

Picture: B- Sound: B+ Extras: B+ Film: B-

From the producer of Insidious and Paranormal Activity comes a film that will make you question the safety of Haunted House attractions like people feared the water when they saw Jaws for the first time!

The Houses That October Built is found footage filmmaking done right with creepy scenes, characters that you don;t completely hate, and creativity that keeps you glued to your seat until the unsettling climax. Presumably inspired by a documentary of the same name and director (from Bobby Roe in 2011), the film takes us through a typical campy horror movie storyline but uses interviews with real actors in haunted houses to help sell the realism and blur the lines between fact and fiction.

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 for a documentary film that they are making. Just when their search seems to reach a dead end, strange and disturbing things start happening as members from Haunts start following and disturbing them.

A few scenes of the film are really effective using the 'found footage' way of storytelling including one scene where the group finds a recorded video of themselves all sleeping at night... realizing that none of them could have shot it and that these Haunters have quietly intruded their personal space. Another scene involves a tight back alley where creepy Haunters appear out of the darkness and attack the cameraman from both sides... these scenes wouldn't have worked without the found footage 'gimic' and I felt where really creepy and effective.

My only complaint is primarily the film's climax (which I won't spoil) but felt that the filmmakers could have gone further. The motives of these creepy characters following the group are unknown (which adds to the scare factor) but the movie just kind of ends. From one perspective this makes sense as it makes the footage appear more 'lost' but it brings us several more questions such as how was this footage 'found' in the first place?

Typical of found footage movies, the transfer is mix of various camera codecs - some of which are grainer than others but due to the nature of the film we wouldn't want it any other way. The transfer is in a sharp 1080p high definition and a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 with an English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio track to boost up the scares.

The disc is loaded with extras including a feature length behind the scenes documentary that inspired the film, 'Behind the Screams' - an inside look at the Haunts featured in the film, 'Portrait of a Scare Artist' Photo Gallery, Cast Carvings by 'The Pumpkin Geek' and Deleted Scenes.

If you are fan of films like You're Next or The Purge - then this film is definitely one that you will want to check out! Recommended.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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