Homemade Horrors

Confirming trend, two locally produced horror films hit the shelves and screens
October 9, 2009

The Buffalo area has served as an appealing location for horror filmmakers ever since Harvey Weinstein collaborated on the slasher flick The Burning back in 1981. In recent years, thanks to the affordability of digital video production equipment, our city has seen a spate of micro-budget horrors produced by local aspiring filmmakers. Two new efforts are poised to terrify Queen City residents this month: Daniel Monroe’s House of Horrors: The Movie and the accurately titled Gore, which is the brainchild of 22-year-old filmmaker Adam Steigert.

House of Horrors is a slasher film that jazzes up its body count with subplots involving pistol-packing priests, a troublesome ouija board, pesky demonic possession, and local ghost hunters. It takes place in Buffalo’s oldest Halloween haunt attraction, the House of Horrors, located in Cheektowaga, and was executive produced by Tim Bunch, the owner of that establishment, who makes a “short-lived” appearance. Shooting at such an attraction provided Monroe, who wrote and directed the film and used all local talent, with a wealth of props, production design, and creepy spaces. While the film is geared to B horror movie fans, it offers slick production values far beyond those found in similar films, and some genuine suspense. Given the quality of its cinematography and editing, I was astonished to learn it was made for under $2,000. While Monroe is looking for a distributor, a limited edition DVD can be purchased this month at the House of Horrors or online at www.houseofhorrorsmovie.com.
“My main goal while producing this movie was to make a ‘no-budget independent film’ which looks like a film with a larger budget,” says Monroe, who is a professional photographer and musician. “I have seen a lot of other locally made indie-films, and most of the time that’s exactly what they end up looking like. ‘Hey…we got a camera…let’s go make a movie.’ I spent a lot of time studying the angles and cinematography of Hitchcock and John Carpenter.”

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