The American Scream

Haunters: The Art of the Scare (2017)

Haunters: The Art of the Scare (2017)

Haunters: The Art of the Scare - skulls / Image: Fair use doctrine

Haunters: The Art of the Scare, or as many simply refer to it Haunters the Movie, is a 2017 documentary brought to you by Brain Factory Production. Where The American Scream first brought us a light hearted look at local family haunts and a few years later The Houses October Built dabbled into the search for the more extreme in home haunts, Haunters: The Art of the Scare brings you the absolute best of both!

Writer/producer/director Jon Schnitzer takes an in depth look at a wide variety of home haunts through the United States of America. From jump scare haunts to over the top, all out, full contact haunts, Schnitzer serves up a little bit everything for you to sample, a smorgasbord of selections to satisfy your personal palate.

As most of you by now know, I love Halloween and everything about it. Furthermore, I love (crave, even) Halloween-themed movies, so when I first caught wind of Haunters: The Art of the Scare, I was super stoked, to say the least! There is truly nothing I love more than a documentary film about one of my passions…HALLOWEEN!!

Haunters: The Art of the Scare not only examines the art of haunting, it also embraces the passion of legendary haunt actors and shows the history of the haunt and the progression and evolution of home haunts through the years to today’s now legendary the current most extreme haunt in the world – McKamey Manor. Not too shabby considering it’s all being run out of his own home!. It even illustrates how religious organizations actually utilized home haunts to help recruit for their churches.

In-depth behind the scene interviews with haunt owners, actors, builders, and, of course, haunt audience responses cast a light on the underappreciated art of home haunts. The thing I most admired is that not only did Schnitzer capture great behind the scenes footage (it’s always amazing to see what goes on behind the curtain so to speak), but he also captured the haunters’ family lives and how having a home haunt effects and takes its toll on family. Building and running a haunt is a second full-time job for these folks, and as much support as the family gives, sometimes they just run out of things to give…

Haunters: The Art of the Scare does focus a lot on McKamey Manor, but let’s face it, when a haunt requires you to be vetted through a screening process to find out if potential attendees are physically and mentally able of traveling across the world just to go through, you know it’s worth showing! The haunt has gained such huge notoriety that Schnitzer compiled a nice guest list of horror actors and others well-known names in horror (Jen and Sylvia Soska, Jason Blum, and Jessica Cameron to name a few) to add their own thoughts on extreme haunts.

Haunters: The Art of the Scare - Jen and Sylvia Soska / Image: Fair use doctrine

Haunters: The Art of the Scare is currently airing on Netflix and should be high on your to watch list! This documentary packs a punch while still showing the true lives of home haunters!

 

Keep It Evil…

Posted by John Roisland in DOCUMENTARIES, 0 comments
DOC REVIEW: The American Scream (2012)

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 in DOCUMENTARY REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments