Halloween Haunting 101: Home Haunt Cinema-spiration

It’s a rather dreary Sunday here at Vespertine House. As your curator, I can say without a doubt that we are loving this weather here. πŸ™‚

It’s perfect for films and writing… and writing about films!

We’re officially at the 100-days-til-Halloween mark on the calendar and what better way to kick things off than with some Home Haunt themed cinema!

Last weekend I watched several documentaries about Home Haunters. Not only is this my favorite new documentary genre, but it’s also the most informative for those of us looking to break into the Haunting game. πŸ™‚

Maybe not that serious, but still… let’s get to it!

 

The American Scream, 2012

This film follows three deeply devoted Halloween enthused families in Massachusetts. Each family goes the distance by turning their homes into neighborhood haunts for one night a year.

What I loved most about this film was how devoted each haunter was. They work tirelessly all year to see their idea of the perfect haunt come to fruition for just one night. Not to mention you see the best bare-bones DIY prop-building. If you’re a home haunter you’ll completely admire the use of duct tape and PVC here.

Out of all the films I’ve seen so far on the subject this is by far my favorite. The people in this film display the greatest passion for Halloween and truly hope to bring some magic to the people in their community. Not for personal gain, but solely because they want to. I’m instantly reminded of how great Halloween was for me when I was a kid, a large influence in that being my Dad and his DIY attitude towards making it as spooky as possible while on a budget. No matter how much he worked, he’d make the time to make Halloween memorable and magical for me and my sister.

Shoutout to you, Dad. Thanks for keeping it creepy. ❀

Definitely check this one out- I believe she’s still available on Netflix!

 

Haunters, 2014

This film documents a Michigan family who operate their “Phobia” haunt every year. The owners of the haunt being year-round Halloween/Costume Shop owners who are devoted to building up the best for-profit haunt in their area. You see everything from conception to building to the launch. Plenty of melodrama ensues.

I enjoyed this one sheerly because it was great to see someone take the initiative to start their own indie haunt. We see plenty of these pop up in our own towns every year, but actually seeing what goes into that is a lot of fun. It was good to see so many people come together to help create an intricate full-on Halloween production.

Definitely available to watch on Amazon Prime- get at it!

 

Monsters Wanted, 2013

This film documents the creation of a large scale Halloween “Scream Park” in Kentucky. The Haunt is run by Rich Teachout and his small team who take the backlot of a paintball park to the next level with intricate builds and production. Lots of drama ensues.

This one documents a lot of the business side of the up-and-comers industry in haunts. This isn’t necessarily a large-scale, big time attraction, but it’s certainly one that’s well on its way. I can’t say this was at the top of my list as the best, mainly because there was a lot of unnecessary drama that was documented. It overall took away from the end product. I honestly felt that the team in this film spread themselves too thin by trying to create a giant theme park with minimal help and funds. There was a lot of great effort and plenty of amazing concepts but it really fell short overall.

It’s most definitely on Amazon Prime- Give it a shot and tell me what you thought!

 


All in all, i’m hoping to see more of these home haunt docs crop up. I absolutely love seeing what’s happening on the indie circuit. A common thread that these films shared was the passion for haunting and Halloween. Everyone creating these haunts are immensely dedicated to creating something amazing. I can totally appreciate that.

Have you seen these films? If so, which was your favorite??Β 

Until next time!

-Sarah

Nefarious News: R.L. Stine & Fox Producing 3 “Fear Street” Movies

That fucking headline says it all!

Can you tell i’m excited? πŸ™‚

I heard the news last night via the Twitter grapevine.

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This moment was so long overdue! My sister and I have been pondering the greatest question in life for years: “Why the fuck haven’t they made a ‘Fear Street’ movie?!”, and finally it’s come to be. Three times over!

My reaction was of course subtle.

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is being written and directed by Leigh Janiak, the director of the indie horror flickΒ Honeymoon. Apparently the idea was in the works some time ago as there was a script written… somewhere… catching dust. Needless to say, Fox is going full force with the project now and in a big way. The studio is demanding that all three of the films be completed by Janiak back to back, with release dates in the span of a few months of each other.

This is a pretty hefty job if Fox is insistent on that time table.

But, details are sure to change as this project is lifted off the ground. The movies are still in pre-production and anything could happen in these early stages! I just hope that these aren’t cranked out without any regard for the quality.

I mean, this is Fear Street we’re talking about.

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Now my biggest question is what three books they’re going to be choosing for the films. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s going to be one of the trilogies…

Maybe Cheerleaders?

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Maybe the Saga books?

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Who knows! Even though those trilogies spanned into the realm of “sagas” after a while, It’s still a definite possibility. I can’t fucking wait for more details to emerge! πŸ™‚

So, tell me: Are you excited to see a Fear Street movie? Which books were your faves and which do you hope they’ll adapt? Also, who should be the main players??

Until next time!

-Sarah

 

That’s a Wrap: Farewell, George Romero

I spent my Sunday watching home haunt documentaries, that I fully intended to write-up on Vespertine House this evening. At some point in the last one I watched, I found myself rolling my eyes at yet another zombie-themed haunt. 

I then had a moment of reflection on the modern-day zombie renaissance we’ve had the last few years. It seems that everywhere you look there are zombies. 

We see them shambling out of the Halloween and Horror niches and into everyday life. They’ve invaded our television sets, music, fashion, games– even quirky bumper stickers have a booming zombie-loving demographic. Ultimately I shook my head and murmured “people and their fucking zombies”.

Of all days to have such a thought, it had to be the day that the father of the modern-day zombie passed away.


From what started as Barbara’s screams in an old cemetery in 1968, and ended with another Trixie virus outbreak in 2010, George Romero proved again and again that he could orchestrate zombie fear amongst the masses with the utmost finesse. 

Romero adapted the zombie creature and its origins to fit a more modern-day audience. His concept was far removed from the original Voodoo zombie seen in classic Horror films like “I Walked With a Zombie”. His formula has stood the test of time as it’s applied in the majority of the zombie Horror we see today. 

   
I’m happy to say that I learned a lot about good cinema from watching his films. I also learned that it’s good to not be serious about everything all the time and that you can absolutely serve up your Horror with a side of fun. 

It’s with a sad keystroke that I say goodbye to yet another film legend. But I’m happy to know that he will never be forgotten.

        
So, the next time a zombie shuffles across a silver screen or a protagonist nervously discovers that a strange virus is bringing the dead back to life, smile and think of George. His greatest gift is the incredible Horror legacy that he’s left us with.

πŸ’œ

-Sarah

Halloween Haunting 101: ‘Trick ‘r Treat’ Bingo (Download Available!)Β 

Well, I mentioned in one of my last posts that I was considering revisiting my Scavenger Hunt stuff as I just wasn’t sure if I’d have time to do the elaborate version I originally thought up. 

So! ☺️

I came up with something different. 

I felt that if I couldn’t do the Scavenger Hunt I wanted I wasn’t going to do one at all. I also really kinda wanted to do a game of Bingo but never picked up a set this year, so I came up with my own.☺️ One that somewhat combines the scavenging of a Scavenger Hunt and the game aspect of bingo! 

Behold: “Trick ‘r Treat” Bingo!πŸ˜†πŸŽƒ

  

Last night I worked on putting this game together (the above is a mockup for display purposes as I didn’t want my guests to see the squares yet 😏). It works like bingo where players need to get a row, corners, or clear the card entirely to win. The players must watch the movie and mark their squares as scenes that match their squares come up. β˜ΊοΈπŸŽƒ 

My game set has 4 different cards available and three ways to win! πŸŽ‰πŸ‘»πŸŽ‰πŸŽƒ if there’s a tie in the end for the big prize, I’ll do some movie trivia as Trick ‘r Treat is one of my favorites ever! 

Now, because I’m a nice person and I like you all, πŸ’œπŸŽƒπŸ’œ I’m making this game available for free download! πŸ˜€πŸŽ‰πŸŽƒ You can get a PDF of all the cards, ready to print, at my Dropbox link below. β˜ΊοΈπŸ’œ

https://www.dropbox.com/s/w867nkm5zcbxyrq/trick%20r%20treat%20bingo.pdf?dl=0 

Are you going to play this for Halloween or before Halloween? What do you think of the idea? What other movies would you like to see this bingo game created for? πŸ‘»

πŸ’œπŸŽƒπŸ’œ

-Sarah

Scream Saturday & Sweet Spooks

I hope you guys are having a great weekend so far!☺️

Scream Saturday is about to commence!πŸ˜†

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I’m excited!πŸŽ‰

I also bought a bunch of libation things… ☺️

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So, speaking of libations (and in the meantime), I thought I’d share some info on this piece I worked on a few weeks ago… When I was drunk.

Lol ☺️ this mask will maybe be used in a near-future makeup! I used a special wax that I may talk about more soon once I know how reliable it is. πŸ˜€

So what do you all think? What are you doing this weekend? Watching any Wes Craven tonight? β˜ΊοΈπŸ’œ

πŸ’œπŸŽƒπŸ’œ

-Sarah

‘It’s a Scream, Baby!’

So! I’ll be alone this weekend and I planned to test the sin factor a little.

☺️ Tomorrow I’ll be hosting this:

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Seems fitting under the circumstances…

πŸ˜”πŸ’”

I don’t plan to have too many people over at all, but I still made up this awesome Scream drinking game!Β 

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This is guaranteed to get you wasted. πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ» Best not to be on the lam from any psycho killers while playing! ☺️πŸ”ͺ

Save it and partake in your own Scream Saturday!Β 

Send me your photos of such debauchery and I’ll feature them here on Vespertine House! πŸ˜€πŸ’œ

What’re you guys up to this weekend? What’s your fave quote/scene from Scream?

πŸ’œπŸŽƒπŸ’œ

-Sarah

That’s a Wrap: Farewell, Wes Craven

Earlier this evening I scrolled through Facebook, flinching every time a MTV Video Music Award article appeared. As I gave up looking for actual news updates, I clicked on the icon that appeared showing that new stories had trickled in. Before leaving my app and closing my folio, I glanced and saw the headlines:

Wes Craven, Horror Movie Maestro, Dies at 76

The steady flow of air in my lungs was suddenly interrupted and my heart sank. I couldn’t believe it.

I still can’t believe it.

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Wes Craven’s passing this evening has left me purely saddened. It’s the very same melancholy haze that lingers when you lose someone you love.

I have no connection to Wes Craven- we’ve never even met- but I can’t help but feel heartbroken over his passing as he had such a profound impact on my life.

Wes Craven created some of the things that make me happiest today, and he is solely responsible for my love of horror films.

His signature style can be distinguished immediately in all his films. He was edgy, cool, and had such a polished aesthetic that every up-and-coming director could learn from. Scream was my first romantic spree with genuine horror and it was Craven’s lasting impression that still resonates with me, and so many others, today.

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The horror community will have a dismal day as they say farewell to a seminal cinematic figure.

In light of this, I do hope that you find the time to read about the great Wes Craven or watch one of his many classic films. I really think he would love knowing that our send off to him comes in the form of us experiencing the thrills he so beautifully orchestrated on the silver screen for so many years.πŸ’œ

Thank you, Wes, for all the nightmares and screams you shared with us. You’ll be missed.

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πŸ’”

-Sarah