20 October 2013

October 20th

Monster Cereal Week 5: Fruity Yummy Mummy.
The black sheep of the monster cereal family.
Also, apparently, slang for MILF in the UK.

The American Scream (2012) directed by Michael Stephenson
A part of my continuing quest to watch everything that starts with "American" this year, apparently.  But, really, I saw the trailer for this documentary last Halloween season and had been wanting to check it out since.  It follows three men in a small town in Massachusetts who have a passion for creating Halloween haunts in their yards for trick-or-treaters to go through

Made by the same guy who did Best Worst Movie, it's a relatively light feel-good piece.  At least it was for me.  I saw a lot of myself in these guys, who are even more obsessed with Halloween than I am.  Or, at least, they direct their Halloween enthusiasm into massively decorated their house and yard to bring joy to hundreds whereas I'm more of watchin' movies type of guy.  There's some tension between the men and their families -- especially as Halloween gets closer and the stress gets higher -- but nothing beyond the normal sort familial snippiness you get when people that live together get briefly annoyed.

The documentary does a little to mine for some depth, exploring main haunter Vincent's childhood.  He was raised as a Branch Davidian -- yes, like the David Koresh group -- who don't celebrate holidays or birthdays.  There's a small amount of armchair psychoanalysis going on, surmising that Vincent is now trying to make up for all of that lost fun, but this stuff is not really the focus of the documentary.  It's more interested in following the process: the increasing stress of the build, the fun and excitement when Halloween arrives.  At that, it does well.  I just wish they'd done full walkthroughs for each haunt so we could see exactly what it was they were creating for the past 90 minutes.

American Horror Story 2.04: "Asylum: I Am Anne Frank, Part 1" (2012) directed by Michael Uppendahl
They're continuing to throw everything they can think of into this series, which I like.  Now we've got implications that Dr. Arden is a former Nazi scientist.  If they manage to squeeze in a werewolf riding a motorcycle and a black actor playing a Universal monster in a future episode, I think we could create just about every '70s exploitation movie ever made from the guts of this show.

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