There is always a super great, and equally profound documentary that Fantastic Fest has up its magical sleeves. This year HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE took that spot. This doc is a great examination of haunts that range from the regular ole’ jump-scare variety, all the way to the extreme simulation type.
The infamous McKamey Manor is one of the world’s most extreme. This place seriously puts you through the meat grinder in terms of an all-out assault on the senses. That ranges from drowning simulations all the way to having your own vomit shoved back in your mouth and being locked in coffins… all with no safe word.
HAUNTERS, is director Jon Schnitzer’s personal love letter to both haunts and the folks who love them. Throughout he shows both the light and dark side of the haunts but always manages to show the heart behind the bigger than life personalities that run these places.
One of the biggest of those personalities has to be McKamey Manor co-creator, Russ McKamey. This guy is an interesting one to say the least. As part of the examination, Schnitzer gets close to all the things that make this McKamey tick. These range from his voyeuristic fascination of getting video coverage of his extreme haunt visitors all the way to a look at his day job and passion for singing at weddings. The portrait that ends up being painted of McKamey is a dude that I would want to hang out with but also be equally warry of the possible skeletons in his closet.
HAUNTERS is an absolute blast. It carves a careful path that switches gear from being hilarous to being a tearjerker. Watching these folks doing what they love at all costs is inspiring and audacious. Trust us you don’t want to miss this one when it drops on digital and Blu-Ray Oct. 3.