American Scream

DOC REVIEW: The American Scream (2012)

By John Roisland

American Scream

In 2012, a documentary was released that gets repeated viewing by this guy! The film, The American Scream, was directed by Michael Stephenson and released by Brainstorm Media and Chiller Films.

The film takes place in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, and surrounds the daily life preparations of three local families as they set up for Halloween. For most families, prepping for this holiday simply means hanging a cardboard cutout of a ghost or a black cat in the window, a bag of candy dumped in a bowl for trick-or-treaters, and call it a night! That's not the case for our three families.

You see, our families - the Manny Souza family, the father and son team of Mathew and Richard Brodeur, and the Victor Bariteau family - have a certain love for the holiday that makes them stand out in the community.

Our films shows the in depth preparations they each take making their yards and homes into open haunts for Halloween trick-or-treaters to enjoy. Each of the three families do know of each others work thru the community, but each keeps to themselves while constructing their new haunt.

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Manny Souza’s and the Brodeur's approaches are both very similar in that they reuse a lot of previous props while constructing minor new attractions out of donated and found scrap to make for a pleasant time for all families to enjoy.

However, Mr. Victor Bariteau's approach is much more passionate. His approach is that Halloween is a year round event, and he is constantly designing, constructing, and building new props all the time. His home, garage, attic, and basement are full of Halloween stuff. Victor is a bit of a perfectionist, and it shows in his work and his attitude with those who help him in the final few days of construction - including friends and family. You can see the amount of stress that builds up on Victor as he wants everything to be perfect! Victor’s family sacrifices a lot for his passion, as he openly admits, and they share and support him and his passion. They are all very active parts in this production, from helping with costumes to baking goods for staff members to munch on. They are all very important!

Finally, the big night has arrived, and each family lets loose with what they have all worked so hard for. The enjoyment spills over into the streets, literally, as thousands of combined family members visit the three homes and take in a good Halloween treat that has been selflessly given to them!

The end of our show offers us a glimpse into someone's future. Victor took it upon himself to go professionally as a haunter. His ambition and desire is one that I personally admire, and has been a bit of an inspiration to me. Victor has since opened up Ghoulie Manor Haunted House in Taunton, MA.

I wish Victor all the best in the world in his venture, and hope to one day be able to visit him and see the world he has made! Please feel free to check out Victor's work at WWW.GHOULIEMANOR.COM or visit their Facebook page as well.

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All in all, this is a fun 92 minutes that may not only get you more active on our beloved holiday but may also inspire you in other ways.

Posted by John Roisland

Horror fan bringing my love for the genre to world in as many forms I can- website, podcast, vlogs, and coming soon, producer! Through this, I am living my nightmarish dreams. Join me…. if you can handle it!

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