We got to watch a screening of UK Haunters by Dan Brownlie followed by a Q&A and this is my review of the film from a newbie’s perspective (see Ash’s review for more in depth information about the specific content of the film).
I loved the found footage style of the film and the way Dan was so open and honest about coming at the film from the perspective of not knowing much about the UK scare industry. As someone who is super into horror and freaky stuff, when Ash told me about the scare industry I was shocked at how big it was and how little I and people I know knew about it. Seeing someone exploring the industry from a similar perspective to mine was really interesting.
What really came through in the documentary is the passion and love that everyone involved in the industry has for what they do and the immense time and effort that goes into every aspect of an attraction. From the commitment of the scare actors with every character they portray to the people who run the attractions and the amount of planning that they put into making everything the best it can be.
The entire documentary gripped me and emphasised how the scene is more than just scares, but a really important part of a lot of people’s lives.
What really came through in the Q&A session was that this was the first deep dive into the UK industry. Bringing awareness to what is out there. As someone who thoroughly enjoys an industry that a year ago I had no idea existed, I think this documentary presents a really exciting jumping off point for raising more awareness of attractions and making them more accessible to people like myself.
It would be really exciting to see a follow up to this documentary that looks into the history behind the scare industry, how that has translated into UK culture and developed into a varied yet unique range of experiences.
One thing I would have liked to have liked to have seen in the documentary is a brief overview of the types of attractions that emphasises how different they can be, from campy, jumpy and fun, to shocking and scary, to the more extreme side that tests your nerve.
The film is a brilliant introduction to the industry and I think with the right strategy can be a pivotal resource for a campaign to raise the profile of all the incredible scare attractions the UK has to offer.