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Monday, May 01, 2017

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2017: Spookers

Get a tour of the largest and most successful scare park in New Zealand in Spookers. At the location of the former Kingseat Psychiatric Hospital, 45 km outside of Auckland, New Zealand, Beth and Andy Watson run the Spookers scare park. Featuring a large cast of actors dressing up as crazed inmates, chainsaw wielding clowns, and other ghoulies, the park is the largest and most successful in New Zealand. However, behind all the gore, the workers tell the stories of their very complex lives.

In Spookers, director Florian Habicht sets out to give the viewer thrills and chills, while also adding some heart. The various actors who work at the park end up telling personal stories about themselves, which are in turn dramatized as various dream sequences in the film. This adds a level of theatrically to the film, which increases its entertainment value somewhat.

I've always wanted to check out a scare park, whether it be the CNE's Screemers or Canada's Wonderland's Halloween Haunt, but I haven't yet found the courage to take the plunge. In Spookers, you can observe what goes on at a scare park, without working about getting frightened yourself. In fact, the film is much more quirky than scary, with its ultimate message being that it is OK to be who you are, even if you are perceived to be a freak.

8 / 10 stars
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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).