The American Scream Review
We all have passions for something. As you can tell, I love movies, I have all my life. I fee like I was building towards a movie blog or something like it my whole life. No matter how small an addition I'd make in the movie world, I wanted to make one. It was the death of Roger Ebert which finally got me to wake up and do something I crave passionately. But there is more to me that just movie watching. I like running, I like eating and cooking, I like basically anything with a Frisbee, etc, there is a lot to my personality and character (I'd at least like to think that.) But movie watching and movie discussion is very significant in my mind.
I love documentaries that showcase a particular piece of American culture that I can't necessarily find in the backyard of my home state. "The American Scream" tells the story of a few families who create haunted house thrill-rides in their very own households. That's right, no need to drive all the way out to the middle of nowhere and pay out your wallet, if you live next to a someone like in this documentary, you can get chills for cheaper. I found it fascinating how in-depth these "house haunters," get with decorations and actually trying to scare folks who walk through their houses. This is definitely not just a hardened passion for these three families, this is an art. They have perfected the art of house haunting, and its engaging to learn all about it. The detail in the props, accessories and costumes are all spot-on. Rather professional-looking for families who didn't grow up doing this sort of thing.
The documentary also highlights how these people as individuals and I thought that was very important. The longevity and drive these people have for this particular passion is both interesting and at times, heartbreaking. Consider a family of four, a couple with two daughters. One daughter is openly accepting of her father's passion, however it affects her too. When a huge amount of this family's budget goes toward house haunting, some other things in a person's life fall by the way-side (i.e. a tree-house for Christmas.). There is also a father-son duo, family so close they consider each other best friends and not just father and son. Its a beautiful look at a particular family, but you can't help but feel for them too. These two men are so captivated by this hobby that they really have no social life because of it. Humanizing these families was a smart move and makes the documentary more provocative.
I liked "The American Scream," because I learned something new. I like this small yet sincere insight into a piece of Americana I never knew existed. As October quickly begins to end, I think this is a fitting film to check out, I think its very interesting.
FINAL GRADE: B