Recovering from the trauma of being kidnapped last Halloween by the Blue Skeleton – a group who take “extreme haunt” to another level – five friends decide they must face their fears in order to move on. Heading back out on the road to visit more haunted house attractions, signs of the Blue Skeleton start appearing again and a new terror begins.
“The Houses October Built” was an interesting little horror film that literally came out of nowhere back in 2014. The lead actors in the movie, who also produced the film and whom one of them directed, came through Dallas on a publicity tour promoting the movie and I had the opportunity to interview them all (you can watch that interview here) and they were the nicest people you could meet. Initially, I had reservations about another “found footage” film but it turned out not to be the case and by the time the movie was over, it left a lasting impression on my mind. In short, as Halloween approaches, a group of friends, Brandy, Zack, Mikey, Bobby, and Jeff, decide to travel across the country in an RV, trying to locate and participate in the most extreme haunted house attractions. By the end of the film, they wind up being buried alive and that’s where the show ends, never actually telling you if it was for real or if it was part of an extreme experience.
“The Houses October Built 2” answers that question, unfortunately. Sometimes, it’s best to leave the ending of a movie up to the viewer’s imagination but part 2 forgoes that option altogether. While our protagonists from part 1 are alive and well, especially Brandy (Brandy Schaefer), now known as ‘Coffin Girl’ as her traumatic time spent buried in a coffin in the ground was filmed and now has millions of hits on YouTube, it never actually explains what happened. In the beginning, the police are shown arriving and rescuing Brandy but who called them? The impression left at the end of the first film was that this wasn’t another extreme haunt, rather, the minds of some twisted individuals that planned on leaving everyone in the ground for good. As part 2 continues, Zack, Mikey, Bobby, and Jeff have gotten on with their lives and moved past the trauma of the events in part 1. Brandy, however, is having a more difficult time trying to let go. When her male friends come back to her and offer her the opportunity to travel with them to more haunted houses, but nothing near as extreme as before, they inform her that every haunted house would pay big money to have her come and endorse their ride. After all, who better than Coffin Girl?
Initially, she refuses, but when the guys inform her that they will just be traveling to regular haunted houses, nothing extreme, eventually she chooses to join them on their quest but like before, the guys are not content unless they are experiencing extreme and slowly but surely, their travels take them to this year’s ultimate extreme haunted experience. When the group of friends go to sleep one night and later wake up to discover that they are not where they originally parked, tensions mount as they realize they are surrounded by members of a group who call themselves BLUE SKELETON, the group that buried them in the first movie. Brandishing weapons, the friends have no choice but to do what they are told and after being drugged with Chloroform, when Brandy wakes up, her friends are missing but she decides to take matters into her own hands and finally uncovers the truth behind the BLUE SKELETON.
The so-called twist ending is so absurd, it totally negates everything that came before it. And to top it off, there isn’t just one “shocking” twist but two, and with each one comes even more preposterousness. By the time the film is over, you are left scratching your head in sheer bewilderment at the downright absurdity of it all. “The Houses October Built 2” should not have been made, plain and simple, it completely destroys what semblance of a good story was left with part 1 and makes you hope and pray that there will not be a part 3.
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