I filmed the most extreme "full contact" haunted house in the world for over 3 years & made a documentary about the rise of terror as entertainment called "HAUNTERS: The Art Of The Scare" - AMA!
Hi Reddit! Happy Halloween!
I'm Jon Schnitzer, director/producer of "HAUNTERS: The Art Of The Scare" a film about how boo-scare mazes for Halloween have spawned a controversial sub-culture of "full contact" extreme terror experiences, the visionaries who dedicate their lives to scaring people, and why we seek out these kind of experiences - especially in scary and unpredictable times.
No surprise this Halloween is projected to be the biggest ever and that these kind of experiences are starting to be offered year round.
I filmed inside McKamey Manor, the most controversial extreme haunt in the world, infamous for going on for 8 hours, having no safe word and even waterboarding people. I also got unprecedented access to the creative geniuses behind Blackout, Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, Knotts Scary Farm, Delusion and more traditional haunts too. HAUNTERS also features horror visionaries John Murdy (HHN) Jen Soska & Sylvia Soska (American Mary / Hellevator), Jason Blum (producer of The Purge, Happy Death Day, Insidious, Sinister), Jessica Cameron (Truth or Dare / Mania) and more.
I always loved Halloween and horror movies since I was a kid, so I wanted to highlight the haunters as the artists they are, to capture the haunt subculture at a time when more and more people are seeking extreme "scare-apy", and to spark a debate about how far is too far.
But, first and foremost, I wanted to make a movie that would entertain people, so I have been thrilled to get so many rave reviews since premiering at Fantastic Fest last month - "9 out of 10" - Film Threat, "An absolute blast" - iHorror, "Genuinely petrifying" - Bloody Disgusting, "Shockingly entertaining" - Dread Central, "An intoxicating study of our relationship with fear." - Joblo, and more!
HAUNTERS was a successfully funded Kickstarter project, that I made for under $100,000.
My passion for this project also inspired some of my favorite composers and musicians to come on-board to create a killer soundtrack - Dead Man's Bones (Ryan Gosling & Zach Shields, who's also from the band Night Things and co-writer of the films Krampus and the upcoming Godzilla) and Emptyset, and an original score by Jonathan Snipes (“Room 237” & “The Nightmare”), Alexander Burke (recorded with Fiona Apple, David Lynch and Mr. Little Jeans) and Neil Baldock (recorded with Kanye West, Radiohead and Wilco).
Check out the trailers & reviews - www.hauntersmovie.com
Ask me anything!
Proof - link to this AMA is on our Reviews & News page
EDIT @ 2:48PM PST - Wow, I didn't expect to get so many questions - it's been a lot of fun and I totally lost track of time. I need to take care of some things, be back to answer as many questions as possible.
EDIT @ 3:40PM PST - Back again, I'll be answering questions for the next hour or 2 until I have to get ready to go see John Carpenter in concert tonight.
EDIT @ 5PM PST - Signing off for today, pretty sure I got through almost all of the questions - I'll come back tomorrow and answer as many as I can tomorrow. Hope everyone has a fun time tonight, however you may be celebrating (or ignoring) Halloween!