It's been eight years since the opening night tragedy of Hell House, LLC and still many unanswered questions remain. Thanks to an anonymous tip, investigative journalist Jessica Fox is ... See full summary »
Five years after an unexplained malfunction causes the death of 15 tour-goers and staff on the opening night of a Halloween haunted house tour, a documentary crew travels back to the scene of the tragedy to find out what really happened.
As night falls at Spookers, dozens of seemingly ordinary people become freaks, zombies and chainsaw-wielding clowns. Every weekend come rain, hail or shine, this diverse group of amateur performers unite to terrify punters at the southern hemisphere's largest scream park, situated in a former psychiatric hospital. Director Florian Habicht reveals the transformative and paradoxically lifesaving power of belonging to a community that celebrates fear.
Would certainly have been good if it won the Berlinale because I can see it having a good affect on Germans but I think it will work its magic now on however it needs to. There's something special going on in New Zealand. An imaginative and thought provoking film about mental health and scaring. Australasia's largest scare park 'Spookers', is housed in an ex-psychiatric hospital and run by an eccentric farming family. Spookers has become a magnet for talented misfits who scare people for a living.
During the first part of the doco I thought of the potential harm from people getting together and allowing themselves to do freaky things like how cults can breed accumulative contagious collective hysteria. But then throughout the doco I learned that this was not the case with these particular horror performers because they get together and share their fears and dark secrets in a place where their is love (acceptance and trust). They have let the light shine in to bring an awareness, as this film has done.
The walls of Spookers are like the relics of the Berlin Wall which serve to remind us of our progression from basically a prison institution to an educational institution. From a torture chamber to a therapy practice. How can that be disrespectful? It used to be a place of many sick people which was created and put there by sick people, and now it is a place of healing and a humorous celebration of positive change. There's a very similar place in Vienna which is well worth documenting called the Arena which used to be a huge slaughter house and now a place for music + culture. They have big acts there. Was Leonard Cohen's favorite place in Europe.
The director has a talent of making people feel comfortable to strip off in front of the camera...was incredible how brave and honest they all were. They were all so comfortable to be so naked and raw. "My husband looks past my faults and see's me for who I really am". That scene best summed up my Spookers experience. How my initial scared goose bumps were then rubbed away with a funny love lotion. There were so many moments that made my heart smile. Not what I expected from 'a horror.'
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