Film Review: The Houses October Built 2

This lackluster sequel to 2014's 'The Houses October Built' reunites five friends who run again afoul of a creepy collective of extreme Halloween pranksters who call themselves "Blue Skeleton."
Specialty Releases

A year after their ordeal at the hands of a genuinely frightening "fake" Halloween scare attraction, friends Brandy (Brandy Schaefer), Mikey (Mikey Roe), Zack (Zack Andrews, who also directed and co-wrote with Roe and Jason Zada), Bobby (Bobby Roe) and Jeff (Jeff Larson) have become web stars. Brandy, of course, shines most brightly and even has her own nom-de-pseudo-celebrity, "Coffin Girl," because, well, she's a hot-yet-wholesome blonde.

As Halloween rolls around again, Zack, Bobby and Mikey decide they should monetize their dubious brand by visiting various haunted attractions and shooting their experiences. They're smart enough to know they're nothing without Brandy. Brandy, however, isn't interested in being terrified for fun—she was buried alive the last time, for heaven's sake, and it wasn't her idea of a good time.

But she eventually lets herself be persuaded, and off they go on a tour of elaborate seasonal attractions, the titular "houses that October built," which has to be a strong contender for worst title ever. Halloween scare houses (and hayrides, corn mazes, zombie walks, etc.) may be big business, but they're participatory; the fun is in being there in real life, not watching footage of a series of real attractions on a screen, strung together by a thin story about a traumatized girl and her mercenary friends, characters so underdeveloped that they barely deserve to be called "characters."

There's a very creepy girl in a dead-white porcelain mask (Chloe Crampton), but she doesn't have much to do; a "zombie brains" eating contest; four little people dressed as KISS, and some half-naked freakish girls, one with three breasts and another with glowing prosthetics advertised as "laser titties." And we glimpse some fellows in skeleton masks, presumably Blue Skeleton masterminds. But overall The Houses October Built 2 is unsatisfying and more than a little dull.

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