The American Scream is making its premiere at Fantastic Fest on September 23rd and Shock recently caught up to Stephenson to discuss his latest film which touches on the haunted attraction industry.
When they spoke to the director, he was in incredible spirits, excited to show off the film and was in the midst of doing a bit more sound mixing on the picture.
Shortly after the release of Best Worst Movie, Stephenson was approached about the idea of doing a documentary focusing on hometown haunt. He said he immediately connected to the idea, thinking about a house in his own neighborhood. “I grew up in a small town and every Halloween we had this one lady and she would transform it into a witch’s house. So, when this idea came to me, I got really excited about it. It’s such a great sandbox to play in in terms of making a documentary because – theatrically – it’s creative. People do these amateur haunted houses because there’s passion over profit and they enjoy it. Arguably, there are people to do it to the level of obsession and that just felt like a great place to find characters and have a lot of fun.”
The American Scream focuses on the sleepy town of Fairhaven, Massachusetts which, every Halloween, erupts with the most ambitiously creative spookery in the world. Endless styrofoam tombstones and backyard beasts come courtesy of a few supremely dedicated local “home haunters” who’ve devoted their lives to the art of handmade monster making. The film puts three of these horrific households into the spotlight to uncover the triumphs and tragedies that come with carrying the blackened banner of true Halloween spirit.