|"Berstuk" from "Butcher of Provincetown"|
Last year was my first year perusing all the excellent home haunter videos on the annual Home Haunter DVD Collection compiled by Davis Graveyard. It was such fun I couldn't resist buying this years DVD set, plus we submitted our own compilation of Shingle Creek Manor photos to the DVD for the first time. So now we're all famous and stuff, paparazzi everywhere we go and people keep calling, and coming to the house wanting autographs, and wanting us for guest lectures and everything....
Okay maybe I made that last part up... it was something new and fun though and it's a good way to memorialize all your hard work and creativity.
Last year I blogged how or maybe how not to make a haunt video. I still stand behind those pearls of useless wisdom, although I realize I need to follow some of my own advice... next year baby!
Sincere appreciation to all those people that took the time to compile and submit a video for us to enjoy. Special thanks to Jeff and Chris Davis of Davis Graveyard for all their hard work in keeping this Halloween effort alive.
Without further adieu, here are some of my personal, although maybe slightly biased favorites:
Butcher of Provincetown - Brad Goodspeed, Ontario Canada, has to be my personal favorite. From his use of unusual, non-horror background music ( some sort of 1920's or 30’s crooner ), to the movie quality opening title and whimsical closing credits, to the excellent camera angles and video quality I have stated that I think his video has set the standard for other haunters to meet. All of the props built during his "year long art project" as he refers to it, are unique things I have not seen before. A special mention for the "Timmy" prop, and all of his self made character masks. Finally, I love when the camera gets to follow the actual visitors of a haunt and you can listen to their comments, " you go...no, you go first" etc. Belinda and I laughed until we cried at the video of the drop panel scares!
Darkwing Manor - Tim and Tina Reuwsaat, Medford, Oregon - admittedly I enjoyed last years video a bit more than this years contribution, and coincidentally it won the "2011 Haunter's Video Award" for "Best Video Production". That being said, This year's video was still one of my favorites and I am fascinated by the sheer size of this home haunt. How many scareactors are there anyways?? The video shows portions of the haunt in the house as well as what appears to be a rather large piece of property. I visited the Darkwing Manor facebook and website, it's an amazing operation that this year brought in $11,000 to The Children's Advocacy Center. Well done Tim, Tina and cast!
Canyon Trail Cemetery - Dawn and Jim Slanker, Carol Stream, Illinois - this video gets my vote for the coolest animated prop. The pumpkin scarecrow rising out of the pumpkin patch was amazing! I'm guessing by it's motions that it's controlled remotely. Although the Slanker's had a lot of really good electronics in their haunt, this was by far my favorite.
2nd Street Cemetery - Heidi Licausi Rauber, Covington, Louisiana - I would be remiss not to mention fellow blogger Countess Vonrauber. She was 2011 category winner for "Best Prop". Like us, the Countess builds a static yard display and I don't think she uses scareactors, although I saw photos of her husband and herself dressed for the occasion, not exactly bed sheets with eye holes cut in them, wow! Countess made some killer props again this year. I think my favorite being the "Gaston Leroux" tombstone although the new window treatments were pretty cool too.
As difficult as it is, I think these are my favorite choices for this year although I know I've forgotten some that should have been mentioned. Your missing out big time though if you just watch my favorites. There were over 60 videos on 4 DVD's that had some excellent scares and some very unique props. Buy a copy this year and add your video next year!