The American Scream


{Cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls

The American Scream is one of those amazingly awesome documentaries full of people that make you cry because they are so damn passionate about what they’re doing.

And in this case, what they’re doing is setting up “Home Haunts”, which means running full-scale haunted houses every Halloween that they put together themselves, and pay for with their own money. (I swear, if we ever got trick-or-treaters at our house, and our yard was bigger than a walk-in closet, I’d be doing the same thing!)

Directed by Michael Paul Stephenson (who played the kid in Troll 2, and directedBest Worst Movie), this intensely personal doc follows three families in Fairhaven, MA who put on complicated haunted houses every year: Victor Bariteau, Manny Souza, and Matt & Rick Broudeur work all year long to make sure the neighborhood kids have a good time on All Hallows’ Eve. (more…)

House of Voices

After the trauma Martyrs caused me, I wasn’t sure I wanted to explore another film by Pascal Laugier – but the appeal of a spooky ghost story starring Virginie Ledoyen was too damn strong to ignore.

Luckily, House of Voices is nowhere near as brutal. But there are a few scenes (one in particular, at the very end) that might be a little much for the faint of heart.

Anna (Ledoyen) arrives at the creepiest orphanage ever to help clean it for the new occupants. In the midst of trying to conceal her pregnancy – and mysterious scars on her back from her past life – she starts hearing and seeing strange things. And naturally these strange things take the shape of children.

St. Ange appears to have more than a few secrets as well, and some of them are locked in the mind of an eccentric, damaged young lady named Judith – an orphan who’s been at the orphanage for many years.

The real trouble starts when the inmates take over the asylum, as it were. Anna and Judith team up to find out what happened to the ghosty kids they keep seeing, instead of just leaving it alone like they should.

There’s not a whole lot of blood and gore in this one, but the phantoms are pretty impressive, and I dug the whole backstory that eventually emerged. It’s appropriately bleak (like a horror movie should be), and atmospherically, it’s one of the better ghost stories I’ve seen.

Recommended if you’re in the mood for low-key terror – with a bit more mystery than usual.

Screaming my way through Halloween Horror Nights

Eli Roth's Hostel: Hunting Season Maze

Pictured above: Eli Roth’s Hostel: Hunting Season Maze

I am still in shock and awe at how completely and totally awesome Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights was. My throat was sore from screaming, and I swear I injured some muscles from hunching over, tensing up, and running in a crouched position. So funny how every time I went into a maze, I thought I wasn’t going to be scared, but EVERY TIME the jumpy-out things got me. Every. Time.

Anyways! I don’t have many photos – both because it was too dark to see everything and because you’re moving so fast/want to take in everything first hand that you can’t really stop to take a bunch. Which is honestly pretty cool so it doesn’t ruin it for everyone else. I’m kind of hoping Universal posts a bunch of photos after they wrap up so people can see how great it is and go next year to see both the old and new stuff. The few snaps I did take are here.

Here’s a wrap-up of what my friend Hanna and I experienced:

Hostel: Hunting Season
Since I’m an Eli Roth fangirl, this was the primary reason I wanted to visit Horror Nights. Unfortunately, I totally forgot about the whole “password for Elite Hunting Card” deal that I was obsessed with as soon as I got to the front of the maze (Bratislava, dammit! I so wish I hadn’t been too amped to say it then). Two sexy east European girls greeted us with a smile, a wave, and a cold “goodbye” just as we walked in. EEEEEK. (more…)

Halloween Horror Nights

directorscuts:

It’s been a while. Excited to go back to the factory Friday at @HorrorNights…

Dude. Dude. DUDE!!!! My friend and I are totally headed to LA to do this thing. Not to mention mazes of; The Thing: Assimilation, Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare, Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses, and tons of other awesome bloody, scary things that I can’t wait to experience.

I’ve been re-living my Las Vegas haunted house tour for many, many years (the local haunted houses just don’t cut it – see what I did there?) and I’m sure Halloween Horror Nights is going to blow them out of the water.

Sadly, there’s no photos allowed – but I will do my best to capture the experience after I get back (near the end of October).

Best. Halloween. Activity. EVER.