By: Heather Seebach

In 2009, Michael Paul Stephenson turned his childhood embarrassment into the fantastic documentary, Best Worst Movie. That doc was about a film he starred in, Troll 2, which is widely considered one of the worst films ever made. Now Stephanson is back with another funny, heartwarming documentary, this time about amateur haunted house proprietors a.k.a. "home haunters."

The American Scream focuses on the small town of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, where three men work tirelessly year-round to create large Halloween displays every October 31st. Victor Bariteau is a systems administrator by day, but his heart lies with his homemade haunted house. His neighbor Manny Souza, inspired by Victor, started his own low-budget haunt full of dumpster dive treasure. And then there's Matt Brodeur and his father Rick, who raise funds for Shriners Children's Hospitals with their haunted house.

The doc begins a month before Halloween and follows each man through to the big night. Each has their own story to tell and their own struggles. Victor dreams of "going pro" but is dangerously close to losing his dayjob to outsourcing. Manny suffered a heart attack but continues the yearly tradition for his kids. And Matt takes care of his father, who has diabetes and arthritis, but together they spend their days preparing for Halloween.

For a film about haunted houses, The American Scream is surprisingly heartwarming. You, the viewer, come to care about each of these men and the holiday they are so passionate about. You see them overcome stress, illness, and financial hardships to keep their dream alive. You see the enduring love of their families who stand beside them and make sacrifices for their dream. 

Stephenson also finds a lot of humor in the lives of these home haunters. From Victor's joyfully macabre daughter who takes after her father, to the Brodeurs' love of corny puns, there is a lot to chuckle at here. 

The American Scream is a worthy follow-up to Best Worst Movie, and shares in its predecessor's ability to turn something weird and gory into a funny, touching tale of family, community, passion, and Halloween.

The American Scream airs on Chiller TV Sunday, October 28th at  8:00 PM EST.

Bookmark and Share
Like the post? Share with your friends!

Also find us here: