It’s officially midsummer, which is when Gothtober’s cobwebs are cleared and it is time to re-animate the dead.
Hankering for something that would start to put me in the pumpkin mood, I was introduced to a wonderful documentary called American Scream. It’a about “House Haunters”: everyday people like you and I who turn their houses and their lives upside down in the quest to build the craziest, scariest, most memorable Halloween experience on the block.
While it is definitely about devising all things needed to transform one’s yard into the creepiest it can possibly be, it turns out to be about so many other things. It’s about dreams, and families, and connection, and making stuff, and stressing out, and feeling simultaneously put out and rewarded by all of it. These people don’t make money off of their creations, they simply want to give their neighborhood a good time, and be remembered for it.
Before watching it, I thought it was going to be more “reality-TV” based with quick shots of residential kooks obsessed with Halloween and their varying levels of technical prowess. But the camera work takes the time to really sit with these people, and make you care about them immensely. They ARE Halloween obsessed, and they all have different Halloween house decor styles/philosophies. Each one of the film’s “heroes” have roped their families and friends into helping them with their colossal vision.
I suppose it got be a bit verklempt because Gothtober is sort of a “technical” version of something made that is a labour of love for the community. It’s made for the world. It’s a virtual haunted house that is both welcoming and terrifying. Launching Gothtober at midnight always gives me a huge thrill, it’s been my annual ritual every September 31st.
Anyway, watch this film, it’ll really make you love Halloween all over again!