September 18, 2017 The Houses October Built 2 (Movie Review)
Every October, over 30 million people will visit Halloween haunted house attractions. Now you can experience Halloween thrills right from your own sofa when the Blue Skeleton returns for more horrific good times in The Houses October Built 2, in select theaters nationwide – as well as available On Demand / Digital HD – Friday, September 22nd, thanks to RLJ Entertainment and Foreboding Films.
Viewers pick up one year after the original 2014 film left off, with a somewhat traumatized Brandy (Brandy Schaefer: Ally McBeal series, The Houses October Built 2014) suffering from the fear and anxiety brought on by her kidnapping and burial at the hands of the Blue Skeleton. While the boys – Zack (Zack Andrews: The Houses October Built 2014), brothers Bobby (Bobby Roe: The Houses October Built 2014, Numb3rs series) and Mikey (Mikey Roe: Side Effects series, The Houses October Built 2014) and Jeff (Jeff Larson: The Houses October Built 2014) – are ready to return to the road, visiting new haunted Halloween attractions – posting to social media about their exploits and this time getting paid for said adventure – Brandy is hesitant. Unfortunately, without the infamous “Coffin Girl” – who has some 24 million views on YouTube alone – few of the attractions’ owners are willing to shell out the cash to have the boys visit their venues.
With some prodding – and a scenic visit to Philadelphia’s famed Eastern State Penitentiary – Brandy comes on-board the Winnebago and these haunted-house aficionados soldier onward in the name of facing their fears and, well, money does not hurt either. Their first major stop will be Anoka, Minnesota, the self-proclaimed “Halloween Capital of the World,” though none of the locals seem to be able to explain why this claim is true. Passing through town, they end up at the Dead End Hayride in Wyoming, Minnesota. Here it first becomes obvious that someone is following the group, tracking their every move.
As the boys and girl continue onward to eat brain tacos at Minneapolis’ Zombie Pub Crawl, race for their lives at Perry, Georgia’s Zombie Run, and dodge laser nipples at Atlanta, Georgia’s Chambers of Horror, their unknown stalker is coming closer and closer with each tasty taco bite. When a masked stranger scares the wits out of Brandy, will the entire adventure crumble to bits or will they manage to move one step closer to that rumored mega-haunt of Hellbent? Seek out Hellbent they are told, but what might they find there?
Clocking in at 101 minutes, The Houses October Built 2 was directed by Bobby Roe (The Houses October Built 2014), and written by Roe and Zack Andrews (The Houses October Built 2014). The brilliance of the film makes it easy to view without any background knowledge: so no, you do not have to see the original to understand Part II. This is a film that blends the fun of October and the Halloween season with friendship, discussions of trust and fear, and overall, a great sense of humor. While it is not intended for young audiences, The Houses October Built 2 will appeal to teenagers as well as adults; (not too) little ghouls and elder goblins.
What you should understand about the film is that, for the most part, the attractions presented are, in fact, real events that you can visit across the country: from the Zombie Pub Crawl and Haunted Basement at the Soap Factory in Minneapolis to Philly’s Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penn to Perry, Georgia’s Zombie Run and Atlanta’s Chambers of Horror (at the Masquerade). Yes, these are real events that have been documented in the film as a preview of the fun that awaits you when you get up off the sofa and go!
The fact that these attractions are indeed real adds to the Reality TV meets Found-Footage feel of the film, creating a movie that feels similar in texture to such modern Horror classics as, say, 2007’s Paranormal Activity or 1999’s The Blair Witch Project. In fact, this is a film that feels like a stellar YouTube discovery: real, modern, personable, and damned fun to watch!
The Houses October Built 2 is above all things fun! There is no soul-searching in the script, no deep miasmas of psychology or great epiphanies on love and relationships; this is not that kind of film. Instead, this is a haunted hayride in October put onto film and given a frivolously enjoyable kick. There are chainsaws, laser boobs, zombies, and decapitated heads, and it is all in the name of the best holiday on the calendar. So don your favorite mask, pop in your vampire teeth, bring your M&Ms and popcorn, and make bloody sure that you see this film this fall! Oh yeah, and for the record, CrypticRock give The Houses October Built 2 4.5 of 5 stars.