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. 🙂
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. 🙂
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!
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??
Until next time!