There is always going to be a mix of good and bad things that arise from the independent cinema. Yes, there will be more jobs for actors and directors and they’ll all try to cash in on insta-video or streaming services. In contrast, you’ll also get niche films with no real use or with any valid reason to watch them.
With that in mind, Houses That October Built was the worst kind of horror film. While it did center on a group of buds touring haunted houses and being picked off once they enter territory that’s not their own (extreme haunted houses), it didn’t do anything else. There was really shaky cameras and the main characters would ooooh and aw at haunted houses, then freaky looking clowns got on their RV for some reason, and something else happened at the end where the clowns fucked them up and buried them alive. And roll credits.
But with Houses That October Built hitting NetFlix and other services, there is evidently an audience for this. I’m not sure what this audience would be but I’ll guess and say people who put on NetFlix to initiate sex. Is there another reason to watch it? But there’s a sequel. And it’s even more lame than the first.
This time around, the clowns from the last one streamed live video on YouTube of the buds being buried alive. And the buds, as a result, are all rich from the viral video even though they didn’t post it. If that doesn’t make sense, just wait. Police show up just in time and save everyone. A few years later, the buds want to reunite and tour haunted houses again. This time though, they swear off “Extreme!” haunted houses. What ensues is just hand held video footage of various Halloween parties and run of the mill haunted houses. Random employees of these get togethers show up in inexplicable break away shots and, at one point, a character just yells “Laser Titties!”
Why? Does it make any sense? No. Does it need to? Evidently not.
There’s zero character development or anything to be interested in. It’s not even remotely scary or suspenseful. To the credit of Houses That October Built 2, it has seemed to capture the chore of scrolling through and watching every live video on a Facebook feed ever. And, although there’s no evil clown through the whole film, they all show up at the end. The characters all act upset and the clowns are filming them and then it ends. Really. What the fuck happened? Even what used to be the worst of horror films, like Cabin Fever, where a kid just starts yelling pancakes over and over, made a little sense.
But it could be worse. You could go to the theaters and pay to see mother!- only to find yourself yearning for independent cinema again. So both films in the Houses That October Built have nonsensical, barely watchable hand held shots and you’ll have no idea what’s going on. Then clowns show up. And roll credits. But the ending to this sequel suggests a third film so that a WalMart DVD called October Trilogy can be sold for five to ten bucks.
Thanks independent cinema.