I love horror movies and novels and even the occasional horror game (although more as a “let’s play-viewer”, I get too immersed!). But I would never in a million years go to a modern haunted attraction to get screamed at, touched and be filmed for a Buzzfeed list. I mean, best case, the picture/video of my horrified, crying, snot-covered face ends up in a viral listicle and worst-case scenario, I get actually killed by actual ghosts.
However, I am not everyone, and everyone is crazy about haunted attractions right now. Not just in real life but in movies as well.
So, here’s a pick of a few haunted attraction-horror movies as well as a few movies about those weird scare events that are not restricted to a house and are therefore even worse but still seem to find willing and paying participants.
Hellhouse LLC (2015)
The first entry in the trilogy is the only one I fully recommend. It’s about a crew who prepares an old abandoned hotel for a haunted attraction, of course, stays over-night and of course films everything (for documentation, you guys!). The scares – at least for me – are very effective. The dynamic between the characters is just believable enough, the acting is decent, nothing outstanding but nothing distractingly bad either.
However, the way this low-budget creates and builds tension is really well-done. There’s a lot to see and the stakes are being upped scene by scene. It’s a shame that this first, amazing entry turned into a pile of over-explaining bad acting in the following two movies. Still, enjoy this one, it’s really good.
Produced by Eli Roth, this slasher movie is pure “Hostel”-torture porn, so if you’re not into this kind of thing (which is understandable), stand clear. However, this “teens go to a haunt, turns out it was a bad idea”-movie surprised me a few times which is rare with slashers. I still think that it’s a little gore-overkill but that’s probably because I don’t enjoy slashers as much as I used to (I’m getting old).
The acting is decent and even though the characters are quite clicheè, there are a few character beats that deliver some depth which is quite nice. Special effects, set design and make-up especially are very well-made. It’s a good looking movie.
The Houses October Built (2014)
Let’s cut this short: “The Strangers” but instead of an amazing Liv Tyler being threatened in her own home, it’s a bunch of friends being followed by haunted attraction monsters/presenters.
I love the mask-design and I think the movie is spoopy enough but it is a little by-the-numbers plot-wise. Still, there are a few creepy scenes and as a found footage-fan I enjoy the different ways, horror stories are being told and how the scares are being incorporated. It’s a nice one. I haven’t seen the prequel because they are rarely worth it.
Channel Zero: No-End House (2017)
Ok, so technically, this isn’t a movie but it’s the best entry in this list. Channel Zero is – hands down – the best horror anthology ever. Every season takes a creepy pasta and develops it into a full season of cosmic, surreal, existential, psychological horror. It’s a gorgeous show. “No-End House” is season 2 and is about some friends visiting a legendary haunted house attraction that offers worse scares with each room. However, not everyone exits. But the question is not what happened to those that never exited but rather how to get back from where they went.
“Channel Zero” is not big on huge scientific explanations. It is a little bit of cosmological/existential horror in that it’s a rip in our realities that offers horrifying consequences. I love this show. The acting is stellar, the special effects brilliant and the horror is so weirdly off-putting that it really stayed with me. There are ideas and images you might never have really seen in any other horror movie. It’s absolutely beautiful. I recommend all seasons.
You want more lists, more luscious, sleeky lists? Well, here’s all my horror movie lists (and more) in one place, enjoy!