Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews take part in the latest edition of our Q&A series to tell us all about The Houses October Built, their new horror film that may make you second guess a trip to your local haunted attraction:
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. I though this was a really interesting idea for a horror film, especially given how many people attend haunted attractions. What has your experience been like with haunted attractions over the years?
Bobby Roe: They have evolved that's for sure. What once was scary has become an innocuous parlor trick compared to how far these haunts push the envelop these days.
Zack Andrews: And now working with them for the past five years, we've really seen how each haunted house is a family. They welcomed us into their world and we respect them and have enjoyed forming relationships with the owners and the scare actors.
How did this project come together? I noticed that you two worked together on the story with Jeff Larson.
Bobby Roe: Yes, the three of us have the same horror mentality and love for Halloween. We wanted touch on a subject matter that horror has never really explored: The Halloween Haunted House.
When it came to filming this movie, it looks like you took advantage of local haunted attractions. Can you tell us about working at these locations and how you worked together to set up this movie?
Zack Andrews: We really just reached out to places that we thought would bring a unique look when we moved from haunt to haunt. Each place we filmed at was so accommodating and the scare actors were so great. They are the reason we wanted to film on location rather than build sets and hire people to play scare actors. The best in the business were right there onsite.
Bobby Roe: We didn't want to be episodic on our search so we mixed in some other fun Halloween themed adventures. Zombie paintball was a hell of a lot of fun. And I'm sure most of the guys, and even some girls, will appreciate our night at a Zombie stripclub.
Zack Andrews: It was all for the movie. There were some tough days, and that was one of them.
Found footage-style movies are very popular these days, but there are still plenty of room for scares and innovation. How did you approach this filming style in a way that made it stand out from the pack?
Bobby Roe: We took a very realistic approach and used all real places and real scare actors.
Zack Andrews: We know that style is overused, but for us, it was about letting you be on the ride. Be one of the group. Then walk through the haunt...right there with us. So then hopefully you are scared with us when things really get hairy....
When it came to working with the actors, it seems like there would be opportunities to legitimately scare them, given their surroundings. Do you have any interesting cast stories you can share with our readers?
Bobby Roe: We didn't exactly tell Brandy and Mikey everything that was going on. I think Brandy would tell you she was legitimately scared every time. One scene that didn't make the movie, but will always be remembered by us, is the time at Zombie Manor when we got one of the scare actors to hide in the RV and come out from the bedroom when Brandy came inside. He has since passed away and we were very thankful to have known him and seen him work as one hell of a zombie.
Zack Andrews: They are all inside jokes: Playing Devil's Attorney, making Brandy "wear it," passing Steven Schneider on the side of the highway, Jeff and the Johnson names, Andy calling everyone mate, and "naw naw naw." It was really just a fun shoot. I got a text from Todd King (executive producer) who I haven't seen in two years saying he missed our group and was just talking about how much fun he had while working on this movie.
With The Houses October Built being released just in time for Halloween, are you already looking toward your next project. Is a sequel in the cards?
Zack Andrews: There is so much more to explore in this world. From the haunts in the north to haunts oversees, the search will continue...