October 5, 2017

VOD Review: The Houses October Built 2 (2017)

"Cool haunted houses, but everything else is pure aggravation."

We really loved The Houses October Built (review HERE.) It wasn't a perfect movie, but it had a great premise, some creepy locations, and Blue Skeleton felt terrifyingly real. It captured the Halloween spirit well, and it made for a good October watch.

With this sequel though, the events of the first movie are rendered obsolete, and any promise of any sort of chills or thrills are thrown out the window, because we were cheated once, so chances are that we're about to be cheated again.

What a shame too, because this series had some solid franchise potential.

*There will be spoilers below, so proceed with caution.

It's been a year since our gang of five friends drove across America to find the best, most extreme Haunted House that they could. That little excursion ended with them being stalked by a mysterious group called Blue Skeleton, who killed four of them, and buried the fifth, Brandy, alive. But wait... it turns out that everything the friends experienced was part of the most extreme haunt of all time, and they're all still alive.

A year later Brandy lives in a secluded spot, still traumatized by the events of her Blue Skeleton run-in. The rest of her pals have gained a bunch of Internet fame, and have decided to once again hit the road to find the country's most extreme haunts, and milk their half-assed fame for every penny that they can. Since the guys are all tools, it's really Brandy that the world wants to see, but she refuses to go with them, because she's frigging traumatized.

She eventually gives in and decides to go with them (she likes money too), and they head off on a new adventure, recording everything they do. Blue Skeleton is also recording everything they do, because it's apparent that the creepy gang wants another go at them. This time though, there are twists and turns coming that no one could possibly ever imagine.

Unless you watch the movie for like 20 minutes, then you'll get what's going on. 

This sequel is basically the same movie as the first one, only devoid of any legitimate scares. It's Longer, and it has some plot twists that differ from the first one, but it's basically the same exact movie. Oh, and the characters are less likable too. And there are NO SCARES.

The thing that I don't get about this movie is that it opens with the events of the first movie being an elaborate Haunted House experience in which nobody dies, which pretty much negates the power of the whole thing. How are you expecting an audience to buy into the "scary" aspects of a sequel, when the first movie pulled the wool over your eyes like that?

Even worse, they do the same thing again here, only in a far more elaborate and silly way. Are we really supposed to believe that a girl who was so traumatized searching for the most extreme haunt in the country is going to go on that same search the very next year, because her asshole friends want to go viral and make some money? And when the end arrives, and we finally see whether things are real or not this time, or part of another immersive, extreme haunt experience, we're treated to a silly twist followed by another head-scratching twist that actually pissed us off.

As good and different as the first one was, this is how you follow it up? How are we supposed to feel scared when we know that the whole thing is a haunted house gag?

There are a few bloody bits towards the end, but aside from some cool effects at some of the visited haunts, this one is relatively dry.

Not that kind of movie, although some of the actors at one of the haunts was kinda naked.

If you like the real-life haunt footage of the first one, then you'll most likely dig this one too. Unless of course the fact that none of the characters died in the first one irks you, then this sequel will irk you even more, because it follows the same path, with a few different turns.

As for us, we're just going to pretend the first one was the end of the whole mess, and call it a day.


The Houses October Built 2 is available now on VOD.


Brandy Schaefer is the focus of these movies, and deservedly so.

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