MONSTER INSIDE: AMERICA’S MOST EXTREME HAUNTED HOUSE on Hulu is a documentary that shocks and puzzles its audience. Obviously, the immersive horror experiences are truly wild and extreme. However, it also feels like people wanted this. Read our full Monster Inside documentary review here!
MONSTER INSIDE: AMERICA’S MOST EXTREME HAUNTED HOUSE is a new Hulu documentary that will leave you feeling lots of things, I’m sure. I know that’s what it did for me. Also, I’m left wondering if there are any actual victims here. Sure, Russ McKamey’s methods are sick and he seems like a sadist with no limits. Isn’t that something he’s very honest about though?!
Brutal and terrible things happen at these immersive horror experiences. That much is very obvious. However, it’s also this exact experience that people seek out. Clearly, it’s wilder and more extreme than the participants expected, but the “advertising” (videos of former participants) would have me running in the opposite direction. Not towards it. That puzzles me.
Continue reading our Monster Inside documentary review below. Find it on Hulu from October 12, 2023.
Extreme and immersive horror
As much as I love horror, I have no interest in seeking out these extreme and immersive horror experiences. Sure, I’ll do the haunted house ride at any amusement park, but that’s about it. However, some people want to take it much further and these are the people that Russ McKamey is catering to.
Or so they think. In reality, they don’t want to go as far as he takes them.
In Monster Inside: America’s Most Extreme Haunted House the story of Russ McKamey is told. Without him participating in any way other than from archive footage. Russ McKamey is a Navy Veteran (which will surely surprise absolutely no one) who created an extreme and immersive horror experience at McKamey Manor.
Basically, he turned himself into a sadistic master of horror. It’s stated that he “lures horror enthusiasts into his web”, but I feel like people wanted to buy what he was selling. So to speak. Or rather, they thought they wanted this. We only hear from a handful of former participants, who – in a few instances – returned for a second tour or started working for him.
Personally, The Walking Dead attraction at Universal Studios is more than enough for me. If I want to push myself, I’d go for an OCR competition (which also kicks your ass) or confront a fear of heights, spiders, or what have you. But hey, to each their own.
Was this what anyone wanted?
The Monster Inside documentary is a brutal watch in many ways, but it also gives an important insight; Sometimes the thing, you think you want, isn’t what you really want. Anyone looking for an immersive horror experience in a haunted house setting is probably still wanting to be in some sort of control. That’s never what you’ll get with Russ McKamey.
One former participant did say something that resonated with me and put things in perspective. She said that she went there looking to live through her own horror experience. Not his fantasy. This makes sense to me and I can understand how the actual events were quite different from the expected.
Yet, from everything I could see from the many videos, it seems obvious that everything going on was always about his fantasy. That leaves me thinking about the “Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party”-meme. It stems from a Tweet with the wording “‘I never thought leopards would eat MY face,’ sobs woman who voted for the Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party.”
That’s pretty much what watching this documentary made me think of; I see someone who is absolutely sadistic and loves inflicting torment. Yet somehow, others see this and think “I want to try this”. Then they try it and are left feeling tormented. Well, yes, that was what you signed up for.
The one person who seems to have understood the mission is the tech guy who Russ McKamey couldn’t break, so he kicked him out of the Haunted House tour. A “tour” which for the record is rarely much inside any haunted house setting, it would appear. It seems more like a “tour” in the military sense. In any case, the tech guy ended up getting access to Russ’ emails and exposed him, which I loved.
Watch Monster Inside on Hulu now!
Andrew Renzi is the director of Monster Inside: America’s Most Extreme Haunted House. I felt like he tried to stick to the facts which is much easier when you have footage to show. And there are no reenactments in this Hulu documentary. Everything you see is from actual “extreme haunted house” experiences at McKamey Manor.
While I do think it’s absolutely insane that these things occur, I also feel that they can only exist because some people want this. Or think they want it. They feel a need to prove or challenge themselves. Russ McKamey exploits this. He absolutely does. And while he isn’t completely honest – for one, he decides when a tour is over, which ensures no one will ever win the cash prize – he doesn’t lie much.
I’m actually quite nervous that this documentary will yet again have people seeking out Russ McKamey. I mean, we live in a world where people send fan mail and love letters to serial killers. Some people want extreme experiences and they just might watch Monster Inside and figure “I could do that!”. Oh yeah, I feel certain that this will result in a spike of interest for McKamey yet again.
Monster Inside is on Hulu from October 12, 2023.
Russ McKamey is the creator of the world’s “most extreme haunted house” – McKamey Manor. He is also a manipulative abuser, according to three people who realize the horror is never over once you decide to enter the Manor.