Hauntedween has a special place in my heart because it was filmed in my husband’s hometown (and my former residence) of Bowling Green, Kentucky. It begins with a murder at a haunted funhouse, then cuts to twenty years later, when the killer who has been in hiding all these years comes home to kill some more. Giving him the perfect setting is a fraternity behind on their national dues who decide to set up a haunted house in the same location as the first one.
There’s a lot to like here. It’s a regional horror film, so it looks like it was fun to make. The Greeks seem like people who’d be fun to party with rather than the usual movie frat douchebags. It’s a good thing, too, because we spend most of the movie partying with them. There’s some timely general nostalgia, like a character watching Press Your Luck on a big floor model console TV, and a pretty good alt rock band playing at one of the parties. I loved checking out the fashions on the extras and minor characters who were probably wearing their own clothes. Also, in a scene after my heart, the characters sing a verse of John Conlee’s “Rose Colored Glasses” at a bonfire accompanied by a guitarist who seems only to know the G chord.
Hauntedween has a couple of my favorite retro horror movie specific elements. There’s a theme song that mentions the name of the movie (and a montage to go with it) as well as the ghost story around the fire that tells the story of the original legend, a la movies such as Madman.
As a visitor to a crappy haunted house in my college days where frat boys did nothing but chase us around in the woods, I was impressed with the haunted house itself. It had vignettes behind chicken wire which seemed like something real college kids would have set up. Also, and I don’t want to say too much to spoil it because there are rumors of a DVD release soon, the killer gets pretty creative using the haunted house for his kills.
Although this was shot on video, it is filtered to look like it’s on film, which is a plus in my opinion. They named the college in the movie Top Hill State, in a nod to the Western Kentucky University team, the Hilltoppers, and filmed on the WKU campus.
Hauntedween stars Brien Blakely as the frat president, Blake Pickett as his girlfriend, Brad Hanks as the ever popular horror character of the goofy friend, and Ethan Adler as the killer. There’s a bit of gore, lots of comedy, and Ms. Pickett and some other fine ladies were kind enough to get topless, so this is just a fun college slasher from the old school. If you’re not lucky enough to have an old VHS copy like me, go by and join the Hauntedween group on Facebook to find out when the DVD comes out.
Edit Oct 2012: Hauntedween was actually shot on film and converted to video, according to director Doug Robertson in this interview on Doomed Moviethon.