by Patrick Bromley
This review contains spoilers for The Houses October Built.
If you were not a fan of the 2014 found footage horror film The Houses October Built, I can all but guarantee that you won't enjoy the new sequel, aptly titled The Houses October Built 2. It doesn't double down on the qualities of the first movie so much as repeat them outright, albeit in a way that's somewhat more slick and polished. This time, they use a drone. Because if Blair Witch taught us anything, it's that you can't have a sequel without a drone.
Picking up right where the first movie left off, The Houses October Built 2 opens with Brandy (Brandy Schaefer), last seen buried alive, being let out of her coffin and left on the side of the road, presumably by the same members of the Blue Skeleton group that buried her in the first place. Ok, interesting place from which to begin. I'm on board.
I'm not really one for found footage films, and I know that the original Houses October Built was an extremely polarizing horror movie even among genre fans. As FF films go, I found a lot to like about the movie: the use of real haunts was not only a clever way to stretch the low budget, but also gave the film its own unique personality. Mixing pseudo-documentary footage with a narrative plot was clever and allowed me to experience some of these extreme haunts without actually having to visit them in person, which is good because it reminded me how much I dislike actual haunted houses and how I like to experience all of my scary shit vicariously on film. More than anything, though, I gave The Houses October Built credit for being genuinely creepy at times, never more than when a girl in a creepy mask is on screen (the one who became the face of all the movie's marketing, as well as its sequel). I liked enough of the movie to be interested in where the filmmakers would go for a sequel. I didn't expect that this is where they would go.