Title: Hell House LLC
Director: Stephen Cognetti
UK Availability: Amazon Video
After covering the documentary Hell House, we figured we’d look at the similarly monikered Hell House LLC. This one’s a straight-up horror flick but a surprisingly decent one at that!
Opening with a brilliantly chaotic scene that provides the catalyst for the events that unfold, Hell House LLC hits the ground running. We watch a guest’s video walkthrough of the Hell House haunted house with all going well until they reach the basement. As they descend, the people already down there scramble back up, blindly searching for the exit in genuine terror. Something isn’t right.
We then cut to talking head interviews as the faux documentary seeks to understand what went down on that fateful night. The documentary also then finds the only survivor from the company who set up the Hell House. And with her comes all the behind scenes footage that they shot.
From this point on, the film largely abandons the documentary angle to provide a found-footage story of the days leading up to the opening of Hell House and the massacre that followed.
If you saw the words ‘found footage’ and yawned – we were pleasantly surprised by this one! The strong opening had us intrigued to see the lead up to that event and the occasional interview broke up any monotony that might have set in. We found it didn’t really devolve into endless shouting matches as found footage movies are wont to do and felt relatively lean which was welcome!
And whilst this type of film isn’t anything new, we found a few parts of this film to be pretty creepy! Whilst we don’t really see what the big deal is with clowns, there were a couple of scenes with mannequins wearing clown masks that were incredibly effective. And another scene taking place in a bedroom was simple but unnerving. If anything, the main issue we had with the film was that the build up was scarier than the payoff with the final scenes being a bit more obvious in their tactics.
As easy a target as a found footage movie from 2016 is, we couldn’t find much fault in this one. The thing that was clear throughout was that this wasn’t a bunch of people wanting to make a quick and cheap feature film, it moved at a brilliant clip and stayed interesting. In ways, the no-budget nature of the movie worked in its favour, making everything feel way more real than your immaculately staged Paranormal Activitys etc. It was very easy to believe that this could have been genuine behind the scenes footage from the creation of a scare attraction, albeit one that went a bit wrong!
Bottom line for us on this one, if found footage movies don't work for you, there's every possibility that you won't like this. But, if you're willing to give it a shot, we reckon you'll be surprised by it!
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