October 6, 2017

VOD Review: Hell House LLC. (2016)

"This is cinema verite done properly. "

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4267026/
The Found Footage/POV/Hand-Held/First Person sub-genre is a derisive one at best. FF flicks can be intense and terrifying, making you feel like you're actually watching real footage of real people being stalked, haunted, etc... and those are the good ones.

Found Footage flicks can also be cheap, shoddy, predictable, and overly-familiar, which basically renders them useless as far as scares go. Those are the bad ones.

I'm happy to say that Hell House LLC. falls on the good side of that divide, and even more so, is one of the best Found Footage flicks that we've seen in recent memory.

On October 8th, 2009 in Abbadon, New York, new a new haunted house called Hell House opened its doors to the public. People were lining up to be scared, and the place was packed. In the middle of the very first tour, something went very wrong in the basement, which resulted in 15 people dying. The local Police kept it all hush-hush, and to this day, no one really knows what went wrong inside of Hell House.

WHERE THE HELL IS HE GOING?
Five years later, Documentary filmmaker Diana Graves sets out to uncover the truth behind what happened at Hell House that fateful night. Interviewing journalists and witnesses who all had interest or connection to the incident, she catches her biggest break when the lone survivor of the Hell House crew, Sara, shows up with a bag of video tapes in hand, hoping to set the record straight.

SHE USED TO BE HAPPIER...
The tapes contain footage of the Hell House crew in the weeks leading up to opening night, with the five crew members doing their best to make the place as creepy as possible. Of course, the tapes also show a series of disturbing and prophetic events that point to there being something wrong with the place.

Demonic shenanigans ensue.

NOPE.
This was a damn scary movie.

Honestly, it's a rare movie that gives me the willies these days to the point where I don't want to hang my feet off of the edge of the bed when I'm trying to go to sleep, but I'll be damned if this one didn't get to that point. This is a movie that uses subtlety to achieve its scares and cultivate its atmosphere, and it does so very well.If you don't like clowns, you're probably going to have a tough time during this one.

Hell House LLC. played a lot like 2011's excellent, The Tunnel (review HERE), in that it felt like a real Doc for a lot of its running time, and the way that it unfolded pulled us in immediately. The cast deserves a lot of credit for that, as they all did great work playing "real" people here. This movie may not bring anything new to the FF sub-genre, but what it does bring, it brings in a realistic, believable way.

I do have to say that the ending wasn't as good as the build up, and it kind of left us wanting. The actions of the characters in the final moments seemed silly to me, because who in their right mind would do something so stupid? Then again, Horror is a genre built on the stupid actions of stupid characters, so I digress.

CHILLS, MAN. CHILLS.
There's some gore to be had here, but it's minimal.

GET CLOSER. THEY WON'T BITE.
Aside from Ryan Jennifer looking good in some panties, and a half-naked haunt actress, this is a skin-free affair.

GOD BLESS THAT GIRL.
Hell House LLC. impressed us far more than any Found Footage flick has done in forever. It's not without its flaws, but the bottom line is that it's well-made, believable (mostly), and above all else, it's genuinely scary.

This is a perfect flick to explore during the Halloween Season... and then maybe go to a haunted house after wards. If you dare.

B+

Hell House LLC. is available now on VOD.

http://amzn.to/2ytt6lc

The haunting honeys of Hell House LLC.

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