I have a fairly high scare threshold when it comes to horror movies. It takes a lot to really get under my skin and scare me these days – not because I’m tough, but simply because of the amount I’ve exposed myself to them over the years.
But when it comes to real life horror, I’ll admit it: I’m a bit of a wuss. This includes haunted houses. I don’t do them – I just don’t.
Needless to say, Jon Schnitzer’s Haunters: The Art of the Scare was a difficult watch for me. Yes, a documentary about haunted houses scared me so bad that I had a hard time getting through it.
It came to Netflix earlier this month, and I couldn’t wait to watch it. The American Scream, released in 2012, was a charming, nostalgic look at the wholesome side of haunted houses. It made me even feel like I could go out next Halloween and maybe even step foot in one of them after all these years.
Haunters did the exact opposite. Haunters shows possible the most extreme form of haunted houses, and for the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone would want anything to do with something like that.
Of course, I’m referring to the infamous McKamey Manor that the film features extensively. Just thinking about what Russ McKamey, the owner of the haunt, puts his guests through – who are literally lining up to be a part of the experience – makes my stomach feel queasy and my head feel faint. This is the most extreme haunted house I’ve ever heard of, and you could not pay me enough to step foot in it.
But hey, people are into it, and Russ McKamey seems to really like dogs, so maybe he’s not all that bad. Emphasis on the “maybe”.
If you’ve got the time (and the stomach for it), it’s definitely worth a watch. Though it’s horrifying, it’s an excellent insight into the most extreme of haunted houses and is therefore deemed required for anyone with an interest in the psyche of human beings who exist solely to scare the living hell out of others.
Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.