Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"The American Scream" (2012)

 Tonight I finally got around to watching "The American Scream" - the documentary about 3 home haunters (and their long suffering and helping families) in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. For anyone who cares about Halloween, and the work so many of us put into it, this is a tremendously charming, quirky and insightful documentary. And for anyone who may not know, a "home haunter" is a person who creates an (often largely homemade) Halloween experience each October, which transcends mere decorating.  Hopefully now that Netlifx has made the film available on their instant streaming service, more people will see this. 

 The three haunters depicted here are of varied strengths, dedications and experiences, but all live for their Halloween haunt. Victor Bariteau is perhaps the most intense and productive of the trio. Along with his wife and two young daughters (the older who truly does share his passion for All Hallow's Eve), friends and volunteers, Victor puts on quite the impressive, artistic and effective home haunt. The family dynamics, philosophies and stories behind Victor and the other two haunters are so very relatable, and it's a much welcomed thing that we have such a depiction and documentation of what has become the subculture that is the American home haunter.

 Yes, I highly recommend this little documentary for anyone who cares-- in the least-- about Halloween. You don't have to be a home haunter on the verge of going professional to relate to the absolute joy these men get from working so hard, for so long, to scare their neighborhoods and communities for one night out of the year. Trailer below.

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