Icons of Fright Interview With THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT’s Bobby Roe & Zack Andrews!

HOB_DVD_HICFilmmaking team Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews did found footage good with THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT(hitting limited theaters, VOD and iTunes October 10th via RLJ/Image Entertainment), doing one hell of a job making a POV film that stands on its own confident feet (our review). Taking the premise of a group going across the U.S. looking for the most hardcore “haunts” and getting more than they bargained for, the film is a unique entry, definitely something the POV/found footage -like films can lack if they’re not done carefully. If you’re a found footage fan, or just someone who likes fun, entertaining horror films, give THE HOUSE OCTOBER BUILT a watch and let us know what you think!

Roe and Andrews were both nice enough to chat with us for a bit about the film, what inspired it, and other goodies. Read what they have to say below, but before you do so, check out a pretty awesome map of some of the best haunts in America, including the locations visited in the film!

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The premise of the film, and its theme, with people always wanting something more, more dangerous, I found that very interesting. How did the it all come about, and were those themes the starting points in which you built the film around?

Bobby: One of the things that we started on was very simple, as simple as “Have you ever seen a real dead body in a haunted house?”. We kind of started thinking about that kind of idea, and then we started to dig deeper, finding out about certain people using real body parts. As we were finding these things out, we were seeing that everybody has kind of become so numb about what you could call “the norm”, I mean even 3D has run its course and what do we have here in Los Angeles now?, 4D. What people need now, is to feel, to smell and to touch. We kind of just built upon that and society, and how haunted houses have become more and more extreme because it just wasn’t cutting it for haunt-goers.

Zack: And true to character, we knew we had to get there for the story, but even going through a lot of the haunted houses, Bobby and I actually wanted more and more and more, so it worked out well. We wanted more and more, and Mikey was a little more skiddish and of course Brandy, almost anything was scaring her.

The way the film weaves in and out of the interview aspects of the film, mixed with the narrative stuff, it all felt natural and fluid. Was it hard to mix the real interviews into the film, while also trying to pretty much scare the shit out of the audience?

Bobby: The real ones scare us more than the other stuff. We’re not big on the supernatural stuff, I just enjoy those types of movies, but they just don’t scare us. We started dealing with, like the quote at the beginning of the movie, with what humans do to other humans, and THAT’s the stuff that really freaks you out. Laying there at night, just thinking about what some of these people are capable of, without background checks, so we started building upon that. Some of the interviews were a little dramatic and that’s where we were going with the story anyway, so it felt right to use them. They’re chapter markers in a way, to where we’re going in our journey in the film.

Zack: and I like the way YOU explained it too. We’ve gotten feedback where some people didn’t want those interviews to be in there, but we obviously agree with you, and we’re glad that you appreciated that, because it does add so much to it. It DOES give it that realism, because it is real people and real haunted houses so it was nice to weave that through, and we’re glad that really worked for you.

In today’s day and age, everybody is scared of something, whether it be clowns or anything else. What is it that you think makes those people STILL walk into those haunts, knowing that they’ll get the hell scared out of them?

Zack: It’s an adrenalin thing. They say that the chemical is released when people are around the violence, so there’s something to that. “Why would you do that?” is an interesting question, knowing that you’re going to go into something that on paper tells you that you’re going to jump, so why do that? I think that same chemical is released, so it’s that adrenalin rush that you get from that.

The “found footage” or POV-style of filmmaking is so overdone these days, with SO many films going that route. One thing that really stood out to me about your film, is how it never feels like that typical kind of film, it feels very real and authentic the entire time, making the scares feel very real. Was that important to you, to create realistic-feeling scares, instead of it just being another “well, somebody found some footage”?

Bobby: We’re with you on that, we feel that the genre itself is pretty watered down, and it now has a stigma to it, we all know that. To tell the story we wanted to, we really needed the viewer to go through the haunt with us as well. Another thing that was very important to us, was to be as organic as possible. Those scare actors were all real scare actors, in all real places. We never tried to press the issue of “Oh, you found our tapes” at the end of the movie, that was never our intention. Our intention was on realism, and if a 15-year old kid is sitting in the theater and wanting to go to these places and see those scare actors, or even just fact check us, you can search and find those same exact places and do the same exact things that we did. If the type o f film has been done over and over again, hopefully that gives a fresh look at it and a reason why we took that approach.

Zack: One thing for us too, Bobby and I, he’s a lot more conspiracy theory-like than I am, so we like to talk about all of these kinds of movies and what could be real or what couldn’t be real. We just think it’s cool that if the 17-year old versions of us would see this movie, one would come out and say, “Oh my God, I can’t believe that was real!”, and the other would say, “Dude, you’re such an idiot, this is a movie!”, so the conspiracy-led one would google search the places and ask, “Well then how do you explain this then?!”

I love the map that was created that has every haunt you visited on it, so viewers could visit them. Did you guys happen to get to visit “The Blackout” by any chance?

Bobby: Before we even knew The Blackout existed, we had a five minute sequence using that kind of thing. When The Blackout came about, we thought it was such a smart way to do a haunt. What intrigued us, is what you were talking about before, with some people being afraid of clowns or spiders, the list goes on and on. What you get with The Blackout, is taking away certain senses, and whatever you’re afraid of, COULD be in that room. That’s what we really enjoy about The Blackout kind of haunts, how it’s for everybody. We’ve always enjoyed that, we haven’t done the L.A. Blackout yet though.

 THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT haunts viewers in theaters, VOD and iTunes beginning October 10th via Image Entertainment.

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