Fair warning here: you’re going to see a lot of found footage in this list. Why? BECAUSE I FRIGGIN LOVE IT. I don’t know what happened to this genre in the last 10 years but between “The Blair Witch Project” and now filmmakers have really stepped up their game. What used to be a lazy excuse to swing a camera around and scream has evolved into something far more interesting.
ANYWAY. Halloween is my jam (durrrr of course it is) and “The Houses October Built” is perfect to watch during that time of year because it’s all about a trip in October where five friends set out in an RV, cameras in hand, to explore the country in search of “extreme” haunted houses. They visit a handful and interview the workers, which — if any of this footage is real — is almost scarier than the plot itself. (What do you MEAN you don’t do background checks on the people I paid to terrify me in dark, tight spaces?!)
But the real hunt is for the most elite extreme haunted house of all: one so exclusive you need to follow a trail of clues and passwords to even find it. Sounds like a great idea, right? OF COURSE NOT IT’S A HORROR MOVIE YOU SILLY GOOSE.
This one is made all the better by the realistic dialogue and banter between the cast, not to mention that when they go through the haunts with their cameras it’s like a first-person experience — you’re going through, too, and oh BOY does it make me want it to be Halloween nowwwww.
2. ABCS OF DEATH 2
Yeah, that’s 2, not the original, and there’s good reason for that. The first one was all sorts of garbage, kind of like the filmmakers didn’t take it seriously, but the second one is a big improvement.
“ABCs of Death 2” is an anthology (another of my favorite horror movie genres) made up of 26 different directors from all over the world. Each was given a letter, they chose a word and made a short horror film based around that word. Innovative, different — I love it.
They range from hilarious to terrifying to INCREDIBLY dark. (Jesus Christ, what even HAPPENS in “Z is for Zygote”?) My personal favorite is “R is for Roulette”, chiefly because it takes such a small amount of time/material/dialogue and tells a much larger story.
It’s a fun movie to watch with other horror fans because you can discuss each one as you go. Give it a chance, you won’t regret it!