The Houses October Built (2014)

houses that october built poster 2014 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

Documentary aspect is good

Poor execution, too long, no payoff

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Houses October Built

Studio:  Room 101

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  October 10, 2014

MPAA Rating:  R

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Happy Easter…or Halloween

Zack (Zack Andrews), Jeff (Jeff Larson), Bobby (Bobby Roe), Mikey (Mikey Roe), and Brandy (Brandy Schaefer) have set out to find the ultimate scare this Halloween.  Travelling to haunted houses throughout the South, they are seeking to find the fear that they faced as a children around the holiday.  Interviewing members of the carnival, the group begins to discover a hidden society among haunted house workers…and though they are making a documentary, someone else might be filming them.

Directed by Bobby Roe, The Houses October Built is a found-footage horror film based on a documentary film Roe did in 2011.  The movie received a limited release and average reviews.

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Haunted house workers are like carnies…but scarier

Found footage films rarely work for me.  The stories generally ends the same and the scares are usually the same type of scares…over and over again.  The House October Built follows in the footsteps of other found footage movies…and it isn’t a good thing.

I like the documentary far more than I like the movie.  The idea of looking at the people who work at haunted houses is interesting.  They are like carnies but even more niche…and some do it just a month a year.  This movie does a little of that examination and the urban myths surrounding haunted houses and it tries to tie a story to it…which takes about an hour and ten minutes to happen in a movie that is an hour and a half.

Part of the big problem is the cast.  Director Bobby Roe also stars in the film (as Bobby) and wrote the film with Zack Andrews and Jason Zada.  The characters are too old for the movie and are the type of characters you don’t care about because they are kind of obnoxious.  You want them to die…and you don’t even get the benefit of that from the film.

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I’m sure that this will end up with a rewarding and satisfying ending like most found footage movies…

The movie also isn’t very jump filled.  Most of the jumps are haunted house jumps with the characters walking through haunted houses…the camera is shaky and often you can’t tell what you are seeing.  Found footage can work because it is the POV of the viewer essentially but walking through the haunted houses would be more enjoyable than this film.

The Houses October Built is a big missed opportunity.  The movie is too long, tries too hard, and doesn’t pay off.  It feels like the type of movie that strains for a new idea but falls into the old formats that the concept dwells in.  The movie is followed by a 2017 sequel The Houses October Built 2 which does continue the story.

Related Links:

The Houses October Built 2 (2017)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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