For our 17th installment, The Shindig’s going for some non-fiction frights in the form of last years ultra-Halloweeny documentary The American Scream.
The film focuses on 3 sets of “home haunters” (people who create and run their own haunted houses) in my home state of Massachusetts.
It follows them from the earliest stages of their haunts up until their grand openings on Halloween night, detailing the successes, set-backs and sacrifices each family makes in the pursuit of bringing Halloween cheer to their neighborhoods.
Mostly a tale of that line between obsession and hobby, the film is equal parts humorous, sad and touching in its depiction of what they describe as the only true “community holiday.” A day not simply for families and loved ones to share alone, but a holiday where we all come out of our homes (and hopefully away from our gadgets) to walk through our neighborhoods with each other, going door to door and celebrating life through our acknowledgment of death. The end of the harvest. The new beginning. Halloween.
It may be the only movie of its kind on the list, but that should not dissuade you in the slightest. It’s as Halloweeny as any of the other titles, and may arguably be the most Halloweeny, as it shows us a human and tangible connection to the holiday, in favor of fantastical monsters and bloody gore.