Director Bobby Roe and Producer Zack Andrews discuss The Houses October Built exclusively for ReelBloody!
We recently checked out and reviewed a film called The Houses October Built, and we were instantly blown away. Call it found-footage, mockumentary, whatever….at the end of the day, it’s a scary as hell journey that you absolutely CANNOT afford to pass up. A genuine, raw, firsthand look into the inside world of haunts across the country, The Houses October Built follows an RV of friends traveling and checking out the most extreme haunts they can find. What they don’t count on is the attention they garner. The crew quickly learns that things get very real and very terrifying as they are stalked by a legion of creepy characters that will stop at nothing to put an end to their investigations. The method by which the film’s creators deliver an entertaining and frightening series of increasingly tense events is a fantastic semi-slow burn but one that will leave you torched at the end, asking yourself “What the f*** just happened?!”
We were fortunate enough to catch up with the film's Director Bobby Roe and its Producer Zack Andrews (both of whom shared in writing the movie) over the holidays for just a few moments, so we took full advantage and snuck a peek inside their world, discussing the creative process and shedding some light on their influences and things to come.
RB: Gents, let me first say how fantastic this movie was. I refuse to lump it into any subgenre category, so I’ll just call it one hell of a horror film. Developing the film took a lot of research and shooting at actual haunts. That had to be an absolute blast…filming a movie AND experiencing all these extreme haunts firsthand. Two birds with one stone, no doubt. How long did the shoot take approximately?
BR: Thank you very much. And we appreciate the “he who should not be named” category. We are very aware of the category it falls into, we just hope we gave a fresh and organic take to it.
ZA: As for shooting, yes, it was a dream come true to travel to all these haunts. We actually started filming almost 5 years ago with a more raw documentary style first. Then Steven Schneider (producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious) came on board and we all decided to make the bigger version.
RB: Does any one particular haunt stick out in your mind as “Woah…THIS one is the real deal…”?
ZA: Obviously some haunts are more creative or scary. But what I really remember the most about going to all of these places is that each one had something that stood out. Whether it was a particular creepy character or a certain room that had something I hadn’t seen. These green lasers can really screw with your vision and that allows someone to pop up from underneath. Distractions like that are great. There have been some great 4D effects as well.
BR: Well on the press tour we did go off the beaten path in New Mexico and we were locked in wooden boxes in a haunt. Then Mikey was blindfolded and kicked off a 10 foot cliff. He ended up landing in a foam pit, but 10 feet blind feels like a 100 feet.
RB: I read that much of the script was improvised, and I will say that gave it an absolutely genuine and natural feel. Did you anticipate that angle before you started shooting, or did it just inject itself into the process early on?
BR: Acting in most of these films feels really stiff. So we wanted to take a different approach. We had a script and strict story, but also left a lot of room to improvise because you never knew what haunters or scare actors would say. It was nice too that it was our second time around making this movie. Which reminds me, we are excited the original documentary version of the movie will be included as a special feature on the BluRay.
RB: Cliché question time. Maybe give us just a few titles that were early influences on your desire to get into the horror movie game.
BR: The movie “IT” probably influenced the clown angle with the movie. But it was more of “Cannibal Holocaust” that gave us the right approach. We didn’t want to take the purely fictional narrative like “Blair Witch,” we wanted to go into the real Halloween jungle and film all that comes with it.
ZA: Strangely enough, I think “Borat” was more of an influence than “Blair Witch.” The realism of going to real places and using real people was something that was really important. Instead of using comedy like Sasha Baron Cohen did, hopefully we instilled some tension and fear.
RB: I want to thank you both again for taking the time to speak with us. We know your time is valuable. We’re thrilled to be able, in any way, to get your movie in front of more fans. Lastly, are there any projects on the horizon that we can all be looking towards in the future?
BR: Been asked a lot about a sequel, which excites us. We tried to just wet the appetite of Haunt goers this time around and left some breadcrumbs for a bigger Blue Skeleton mythology. The individual haunted houses can get bigger and badder. It’s just the tip of the iceberg.
I know this movie has snuck up on a ton of horror movie fanatics out there, but the momentum is rapidly building to full force. These guys have tapped into a very real and very terrifying realm of horror not previously attempted. One thing is certain, The Houses October Built will leave you with a serious case of the chills; one eye on the screen and the other feverishly glued behind your back. You can catch the movie on VOD and iTunes now AND purchase the new bluray TOMORROW, January 6, 2015. You can’t afford not to grab it.
Follow the movie’s Twitter @HousesOctBuilt and the writers’ Twitters @BobbyRoe1, @AndrewsZack, and @jasonzada.
Stay tuned to @reelbloody and reelbloody.com as a surprise may be just around the corner, ready to put the fright in your night….