31 Days Of Hell: The Houses October Built (2014) – Reviewed

After watching the recent clown related horror films 31 and Clowntown, a conversation about both of them prompted the recommendation of checking out another similar production titled The Houses October Built. It is currently available to watch on Netflix and it is a fairly above average found footage flick, blending elements of The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, the southern horror subgenre, scary clowns, and haunted houses. The story involves a group of friends going on a road trip in search of the scariest and most dangerous haunted house experience, getting far more than what they were expecting.

The plot is both intriguing and ridiculous all at the same time. The concept of searching for the scariest haunted house, while also trying to document true Halloween murders and accidents has potential. It is the ineptitude and unrealistic decision making of the characters that is questionable, along with the “Moby Dick” obsession of their friend who staged the whole trip. The series of weird events that occur would have any rational human being looking for a way out, as opposed to seeking out a conclusion. So it ends up playing out in a way that is very similar to the found footage pictures that have been listed above.

The camerawork is pretty good for the found footage subgenre. This was all explained in the plot, so there are many variations of cameras and locations. As with any motion picture that falls in this genre, there are the typical shaky cam moments and several sequences that are hard to follow because the camera is moving around so much. There are some creative road traveling scenes involving cameras that were mounted to an RV.

The acting is decent. The entire main group of actors came off as looking realistic and believable. It was hard to tell how much of the dialogue and situations where scripted and how much of it was improvised. At first I felt sympathetic to what was obviously going to be a tragic ending for them, but by the end I was just rooting for their demise. I’m not sure that was the ultimate intent of the filmmakers, it just felt like they disrespected something and got what they deserved.

Clowns argue just like normal people

It’s not the best horror movie and it’s definitely not the worst, it falls somewhere in the middle. It has humor, nudity, creepy costumed characters, several scares, and an intense ending. Despite lacking a severe amount of gore, this should scare the average horror viewer or terrify your significant other.

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