View Full Version : Can't miss movies for haunters?

02-07-2009, 10:58 AM
Here's something I'm curious about. A bit of background here, I got into this business, through a haunted house, not through horror as some may have.

So, I've never been a real horror movie guy. But as time goes on, I'm exploring some horror movies, trying to expand my knowledge base, so that at least when someone brings it up in conversation I can hold my own. I've started on Romero's zombie flicks, and Raimi's Evil Dead movies. I try to stay up on the newer movies so as to keep in touch with what the "younguns" are getting scared by these days.

This by no means means I haven't seen any horror movies, or that I don't have my favorites, but here's what I'm getting at:

What horror movies should you not miss, as a haunter?

Recently a friend pointed out a couple that he thought I should definitely see.

The remake of House on Haunted Hill - set design, lot's to see here

13 Ghosts - character development, the 13 different ghosts (side note, we stay away from movie characters, but I had seen the character who I learned was The Jackal in several haunts, and after seeing this, yes, he is one scary dude)

Silent Hill - set design and character development here

So what are yours? What should not be missed?


02-07-2009, 11:30 AM
The Texas Chainsaw Re-Makes: Scenic design and Audio

Dead Silence: Scenic Design and haunt stylizing

The Amityville Horror Remake: Character Design

HellBoy series and Pans Labriynth: Character Design and Scenic Design


02-07-2009, 11:30 AM
House of A Thousand Corpses is a definate. The very beginning is a great starting room to give some background on the whole haunt. You walk through the set and see all this history on the people. Then you move them into the actual house and you can see the immersion in the house. All the furniture is dirty the way the treat the house is messy it looks like there should be a stench to it. And all of the dead bodies are converted to artwork. Thats a good piece to remember. The dead are artwork. That gore is essential to make you understand how sick these people are.

House of A Thousand Corpses - Gore essentials when and when not to use it.

Vincent This Time!

02-07-2009, 12:29 PM
For me, the inspiration spawns more from video games rather than movies. The Silent Hill game has fantastic environments, much better ones than what the movie presents if I do say so myself. You can look up walkthrough videos of the first playstation game on Youtube and see what I mean by that. The Splatterhouse franchise had some very grotesque ways of displaying gore, in both its monsters and especially in its level designs. Giant fetuses hanging from nooses, bloody monsters ripping out of unassuming teddy bears, giant red bore worms with nasty teeth and bony human legs. And that was when games were still in 2D. VG's aside, I've felt that the Hellraiser movies had some interesting characters and set designs to expand upon. The use of chains and hooks gave a hostile and uninviting feeling to the cenobites lair. The first Pumpkinhead is one I love too. Not so much on any one design, but rather how the movie presents its atmosphere. Take away all the special effects that go on during the monster's killings and then the woods of nowhere turn into nothing special. The use lighting, shadows, and wind give the woods a kind of surreal nightmarish tone.

Kevin Dells
02-07-2009, 07:08 PM
Maybe i misunderstood your posting but did you say your going into horror films so your looking to past films to work off of?

I ask because i have recently joined up with a Independant film maker and im looking at different sorts of films for special effects idea's that have been done and often scratch my head as to "O.K. How did they do that?"

A few that i love for SPFX work as far as death schenes

All the Final Destinations
Some of the death schenes in these movies i will never figure out but they kick ass!
(the kid smashed under the glass in FD2 is awesome, im assuming it was a gel body)

Resident Evils The lazer cut rooms are incredible,love it!

HOTC, i totally agree!! The characters and distressing of the firefly house is the best i have yet to see!!

I have to say going from haunting into FX work for films has been non stop websearching for idea's and answers, it's two totally different worlds for two different scenario's. I feel like the first day i walked into a haunt not knowing a dang thing!!

02-08-2009, 09:35 AM

No, just researching. Trying to watch some of the "classics" and keep up on the new trends.

I only mentioned a few that a friend suggested to me, and they were good suggestions.

I agree with everyone that's posted on the Rob Zombie films, big fan, especially House of 1000 Corpses.

On a side note, I was at Best Buy the other day, and I noticed an even newer version of Zombie's Halloween, including 4.5 hours of extras. Which brings me to another point, speaking of fx, set design etc. There are some pretty good documentary films out there on the history of some of the horror franchises, which sometimes go into special effects. Most recently I picked up "His name was Jason". Also, a lot of the newer dvd releases of films include behind the scenes special features. Anyone got any good recommendations on these types of films as well? Ones that I may have missed?


Kevin Dells
02-08-2009, 09:54 AM
On another special note of cool things found in extra's.

13 ghosts has a really cool character layout in it's special features sections that explains the ghosts and why they are like they are, i have used this as a training exercise during actor seminars to teach actors why their individual storylines are so important to know.

Devils Rejects from a film makers perspective has a really cool extra that features the shot out at the beggining of the movie and how it's done using squibs.

Im also going to throw out this website if you haven't seen it yet, really nice website i was reffered to for learning a lot of special effects type stuff. But as i looked through it(especially their tutorials section) i was finding tons of things that are haunt related as well such as distressing techniques and fx make up techniques as well. Dig through this site you"ll find so much neat stuff here.


02-08-2009, 02:44 PM
Ok, an update, I started watching His Name Was Jason today. During the main documentary (disc 1), there is a tour through parts of Universal Halloween Horror Nights Friday the 13th Licensed house. Side note, the partnership with New Line and Universal for Horror Nights was short lived eh? Or maybe it was just a one year deal.

Also, I think it's on the feature, The Men Behind the Mask, but I 'd have to recheck that, there's an interesting quote that Ben Armstrong may enjoy. I forget which "Jason" it was or it may have been a Director who says

"Jason is not your standard human, he can't be killed, but he's not from Netherworld" Anyways, something like that. Ben, what kind of monsters you making down there, sheesh.


02-09-2009, 12:19 PM
Chris...You need to watch a Movie called CUBE...its an old one should be pretty cheap if you can find it. They did the laser cutting before Resident Evil did and its a really good movie

02-12-2009, 06:45 PM
Yet another update. As I continue to work my way through the insane amount of material on the His Name Was Jason dvd's, I found that on the second disc there is actually a short featurette about the Halloween Horror Nights Friday the 13th Camp Blood haunt. The clips that I mentioned from the main documentary came from this.

In case anyone was interested.


02-12-2009, 07:56 PM
Chris...You need to watch a Movie called CUBE...its an old one should be pretty cheap if you can find it. They did the laser cutting before Resident Evil did and its a really good movie
Is that the one with that weird video game thing? Where if you die in the game, you die in real life? And it had extremely advanced artificial intelligence?

02-12-2009, 08:28 PM
No that was Stay Alive....Cube is a older one came out in the late ninties

02-12-2009, 08:35 PM
Is that the one with that weird video game thing? Where if you die in the game, you die in real life? And it had extremely advanced artificial intelligence?

HAHAHA I remember that movie. It was kinda cheesy..but I have to say horror movies is the reason why I am today. They get my brain thinking about soooo many ways and ideas to do. Like House of 1,000 corpses is one of my all time favorite movies. I could never get sick of watching that movie. I was 7 years old when I saw my first horror movie by accident. Return of the living dead made in 1984 I think it was. That movie scared the S*** out of me. Ever since then I had to watch horror movies tho. Every Friday after school my mom would let me rent a horror movie. God I miss those days. I'd always look forward to them.

Jim Warfield
02-12-2009, 09:41 PM
Was "Invaders From Mars".
The movie had frightening moments, the tall Martians staggering through those tunnels in the sand pit...then everything is all right, it was just a bad dream (nobody was having ANY luck beating those Martians, now were they?)
Then he looks out his bedroom window at the night sky and a saucer lands in the sand pit! This is now reality! Then of course the movie ends and we can only "dream" how tough or crafty/evil these Martians will be to fight!
I can't remember if my first real life realization that tv and movies are just that, versus real life where if we stop breathing we die, where we get older and older and die, life became defined for me as being apart from fictional entertainment, then a subtle fear begins to set in.....and it begins to grow..small growth spurts at first as we age and look around us and learn more, then one day we realise now we know too much.

02-13-2009, 10:41 PM
No that was Stay Alive....Cube is a older one came out in the late ninties
Oh. I don't remember the name.
Warning, possible spoiler for movie:
All I remember is the boy who played as Harvey on Sabrina (the old series) was the main character. He got this new, really updated video game system. It asked him to take pictures of people to use as the characters. The more he plays, the more the game takes over his life. Eventually, he's stuck in the game. The main villain (the one that is out to kill the player) is the cop who shot the main characters girl friend (who played in Boy Meets World I think). After running through three different games (alien, zombie, ganster/city life), the main character finally figures out how to get out of the game. Then he sends the console to the cop (the one in real life).
:End of possible spoiler

I would've put my money on it that the movie I described was Cube. Oh well. It's been a while since I've watched it. I do agree that it was very corny. I was sickened by the lack of detail on the zombies. XD