Saturday, October 30, 2021

#2,653. Hell House LLC (2015)


The brainchild of writer / director Stephen Cognetti, Hell House LLC - a found footage horror movie presented, at times, like a documentary - has moments that scared the bejesus out of me. 

It’s been five years since the tragedy at the Abaddon Hotel, where a team of haunted attraction creators from New York City, known as the Hell House Crew, had set up their latest “masterpiece”. After spending several months living in the abandoned hotel, the group, led by Alex (Danny Bellini), opened for business one October night, and it was during this premiere that several still-unexplained deaths and suicides occurred. 

Armed with never-before-seen footage captured by the Hell House team during their stay at the Abaddon, documentary filmmaker Diane Graves (Alice Bahlke) attempts to finally solve the mystery surrounding this terrible tragedy. 

Hell House LLC opens with news clips as well as talking-head interviews, featuring survivors of the ordeal and experts who have studied the case. There’s even a YouTube video captured by one of the patrons that fateful night, which reveals something terrible happened in the basement. All of this works to pull us into the story early on, so by the time we - like Diane Graves - get a look at the videos shot by the Hell House team themselves, we’re as eager as she is to find out what really happened. 

It’s when this footage is revealed, however, that we get a sense of the evil that resides in the Abaddon Hotel, and how it systematically worked on Paul (Gore Abrams), the group’s technical wizard. One scene in particular, when Paul, who is recording himself, wakes up in the middle of the night is absolutely terrifying. 

One issue I did have with Hell House LLC was the attraction that the Hell House team had set up. As seen in The Houses October Built, some Halloween haunts can be downright extreme, and by comparison the Hell House attraction looked kinda lame: hanging spiders, strobe lights, mannequin clowns, etc. But no matter; the hotel itself made up for their sub-par efforts. As locations go, the Abaddon is as eerie as they come (especially the basement). 

A fine example of the found footage subgenre, Hell House LLC is destined to become a Halloween tradition in my house. 
Rating: 8 out of 10


Ms Jayme Harris said...

I second that emotion, love this movie!

Lord Phantasma said...

This was one of the better low-budget found footage films I've seen in a long while. Right up there with The Taking of Deborah Logan. Great to hear you enjoyed it as well, Dave!