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'The Houses October Built 2' Continues A Story That Should Have Ended

By James Jay Edwards
Released: September 22, 2017
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Synopsis
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.

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Film Review
Production
A few years ago, The Houses October Built put a fun twist on the found footage trend by portraying a YouTube video-making, Halloween haunt-loving group of folks who happen upon the wrong haunt. Now, the gang is back for more in, yep, you guessed it, The Houses October Built 2.

The Houses October Built 2, courtesy RLJ Entertainment 2017, All Rights Reserved.


The Houses October Built 2 picks up where the first movie left off, with Brandy, the group's sole female, being dumped on the side of a road with the tapes from the last expedition after being buried alive for the night. With the events of the first movie being exposed as a harmless prank and the video going viral (Brandy is now known as "Coffin Girl"), the semi-famous gang books a tour where they get paid to try out different Halloween haunts. After convincing the understandably reluctant Brandy to join the tour, they go through a series of fairly run-of-the-mill haunts, and all is going great. That is, until they get to another one that is run by the same Blue Skeleton Crew that was behind their last horrifying experience.

Writer/director Bobby Roe and co-writer Zack Andrews pretty much showed the world what they could do with the found footage format with The Houses October Built, and The Houses October Built 2 is, predictably, more of the same. The sequel is a little more wink-wink-nudge-nudge than the original, and there is the addition of a cool drone camera to add production value (a page taken right out of Blair Witch's book), but for the most part, audiences known what they're in for with this movie.

The Houses October Built 2, courtesy RLJ Entertainment 2017, All Rights Reserved.


The truth is, there's very little in The Houses October Built 2 that wasn't already done in The Houses October Built. There's the same slow buildup while the crew visits a seemingly endless numbers of innocuous haunts, followed by about a half hour of complete freak-out when they eventually get to the "hardcore" attraction. In some ways, the buildup experiences (which include an "escape room," a circus sideshow, an "extreme haunt," and a good old fashioned hayride) are more fun, if only because they are a little more fresh. By the time the real horror starts, the gimmicks are stale.

The Houses October Built 2 is the type of movie that will infuriate the more level-headed, non-disbelief-suspending viewers in the audience. The movie should not exist. First off, the gang has to beg and plead with Brandy to get her to join the expedition. By all accounts, including her own, she should not have gone on the trip, ending the story right there. Furthermore, once things start getting freaky again, every fiber of Brandy's being tells her that she should leave the trip and go home, also ending the story. By going on the trip and staying on the trip, Brandy exhibits the type of idiotic judgement that only exists within horror movies. But, her lack of self-preservation intuition is why there's a movie, so it gets the credit - or the blame - for the film's entire existence.

The Houses October Built 2, courtesy RLJ Entertainment 2017, All Rights Reserved.


The bottom line is that The Houses October Built 2 is a very unnecessary sequel. It's a whole lot of what was in the first movie, with a film-school pseudo twist tacked on in a pathetic attempt to be clever. It's not as engaging as the original, but fans of the franchise have a pretty good idea of what to expect. The Houses October Built 2 is more of the same.
Scary Factor
The Houses October Built 2 is about a scary as The Houses October Built. Although it wears thing after a while, there is a little bit of fright inspired by the authenticity of the whole found footage aspect of the film ("is this real?!?"). Like its predecessor, the sequel takes a while to get rolling and to get to any of the scary stuff, and it does get a little freaky in the third act once things start going down, but by then, the audience is so fatigued by the tedium of the buildup that the whole thing loses impact - it's just kind of "eh." Basically, if the first The Houses October Built scared you, this one probably will, too. But it probably didn't, so this one probably won't, either.

The Houses October Built 2, courtesy RLJ Entertainment 2017, All Rights Reserved.



Genre
Horror
Release Date
September 22, 2017
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