Halloween gets a bad rap. Sure, maybe it has some unfortunate relation to some pagan celebration or some such thing. And, yeah, maybe there’s much ado about witches and ghosts and goblins and trolls and such. Still, more and more, adults are branching out into all witches’ hallow (or is that hollow?), taking it over from the kiddies (to a degree) and turning it into an even bigger cause for celebration. This DVD from Apprehensive Films and TheGrindhouse.net explores the three levels of dedicated Halloweening homeowners: from display to haunted properties all the way up to full-fledged separate businesses.
HALLOWEEN HOME HAUNTS is a modestly produced documentary that explores some of the ‘why’ and ‘how’ folks are drawn to their particular fascinations with October 31. It goes into some detail on some of the more prolific decorators – explaining how they accomplish what they do in transforming their suburban lawns into wonderfully horrific displays of the Undead. In its second part, it shows how some folks turn their interests from basic displays into haunted garages or haunted houses, choosing to produce bigger scares for the neighborly patrons. In its final part, it shows how these celebrations have pushed a few individuals beyond their own property lines, branching out into the broader business of scaring customers at fully operational haunted houses.
I found much of it to be a great delight. It isn’t any big deal – there clearly wasn’t much money invested in this production as it’s basically shot and narrated by a small crew (probably two men who had as much interest in the subject matter as did these homeowners) – but there’s so much love crammed in here – the love of the holiday, the love of scaring others, the love of the truly life-changing fright. I loved it through and through, and it just might have made me a believer to try the same!
HALLOWEEN HOME HAUNTS is produced by Apprehensive Films. DVD distribution is being handled through the same. As for the technical specifications, this is a small market DVD release, and it looks and sounds probably exactly the way it was intended, which is it to say it’s perfectly acceptable for the purpose and cause it serves. To my surprise, there are even a few extras packed in here, and, at 86 minutes, you can’t go wrong with this modest investment that might just show you how to produce some cheap thrills or your own long … well, that is so long as you’re willing to make another cheap investment in the materials needed to do so.
HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION POSSIBLE. Seriously, what’s not to love? This quaint little documentary may not have any big names or any revelatory ideas, but it’s a wonderful, small exploration of what a few dedicated scare fans have done to their homes all in celebration of the scariest night every year: Halloween! I enjoyed HALLOWEEN HOME HAUNTS. It put a smile on my face. It isn’t exactly anything near a ‘how to’ variety, but it should give homeowners some inspirations for their own respective haunts, and that’s good enough for me!
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Apprehensive Films provided me with an advance DVD copy of HALLOWEEN HOME HAUNTS for the expressed purposes of completing this review.