Film

Found-Footage Horror Flick The Houses October Built Showcases Real Haunted Houses

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The scary Halloween house at your local amusement park is child’s play compared to the “extreme haunts” that fill this uneven but intriguing found-footage horror flick.

To give his film credibility, and a usefully ghoulish texture, first-time writer-director Bobby Roe, who also co-stars, shot much of the “found footage” at a dozen real-world haunted houses, where the favored prop is, of course, a chainsaw. Roe plays Bobby, the videographer for a group of five friends who are traveling the country in an RV, visiting haunts and searching for clues to the secret location of what is said to be the ultimate in extreme scares.

In between tours, these fright junkies — four men and one woman — pass the time laughing at jokes only they understand, while a wobbly video cam darts around them like a gnat on speed. When the group finally nears its target destination, Roe and co-writers Jason Zada and Zack Andrews throw in more plot twists than they have time to explore.

That’s too bad, because the unnerving finale plays on some primal fears, building nicely on the rather nasty idea that scaring people can become murderously addictive.

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