Admission Based Haunted Houses

The Houses October Built

Clunkily-titled, The Houses October Built (limited theater release October 10, 2014) has a plot that, on the surface, seems straight out of Horror Movie Making 101: “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. Just when their search seems to reach a dead end, strange and disturbing things start happening and it becomes clear that the Haunt has come to them…” 

It’s ALWAYS five friends – two couples – one pair that can’t keep their clothes on around each other – and a loser dork douche everybody picks on.

Anyway, the Houses press release goes on to make a bold claim: “We found out that over 35 million people go to Halloween Haunts each year,” says writer/director Bobby Roe. “But out of all the horror films out there, no one has touched on these places. It’s untapped. So we decided to tell a story centered around the holiday and set it in the world of Halloween Haunted Houses.”

Not so fast there, Bob – without even using my few as yet undamaged-by-alcohol brain cells, I recall two horror movies (and there are more) that utilize carnival haunted horror houses as a plot device.

The Funhouse

First up is The Funhouse (1981), in which a group of teenage friends spend the night (without permission) in a local carnival funhouse. They are are stalked – pursued, if you will – by a man in a Frankenstein’s monster mask. The kicker – take the mask off and he’s a real monster. Them’s some good times right there.

The Funhouse

Second one that pops into my head like a freshly opened can of the good stuff is Mr. Halloween (2007). A recluse local sour face puts on an annual Halloween haunted house attraction, enthusiastically attended by teens who promptly disappear after purchasing a ticket to said novelty exhibit. The kicker – those fake body parts used in the haunted house aren’t fake. Eeewwwww!

Mr. Halloween

Even though The Houses That October Built – with a title that doesn’t roll off your tongue and a plot that does – appears cliched, has a nifty one-sheet advertising poster. And if I’m a sucker for anything, it’s a good horror movie poster. So yeah, I’ll go see it. I’m cliched that way.

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