I really, really hate going to Halloween Haunted House attractions. I don’t like people jumping out and trying to grab me, and most of the ones that I did go to…failed to truly frighten me. I was hesitant to review another “haunted attraction gone bad” film because the scripts all seem to be written by the same people, but when our illustrious leader, Andy Burns, asked me to review Hell House LLC…I watched and was pleasantly surprised.
Hell House LLC
Hell House LLC is a 2015 found-footage horror tale written and directed by Stephen Cognetti. The film that was produced by FBI Films is shot as a documentary, which tries to find out what happened to the staff and party goers that went missing on the opening night of a Halloween attraction.
We watch through the lens of the cameraman working with the original staff as they arrive at the abandoned hotel in Abaddon, New York. Most of the film in the beginning shows the staff setting up the rundown hotel as a Haunted House attraction for the big Halloween opening night. Right from the beginning things go sideways. There is something nasty in that old hotel, and it may have to do with the hotel previously being a site for satanic worship.
Alex (Danny Bellini) has the right ideas and props to make this attraction worthwhile, including some really scary clowns. But as the staff begin to experience paranormal attacks, Alex ignores his staff’s pleas to leave the building. Big mistake, and on the first night of Hell House’s opening, what was supposed to be a fun experience, turned into a major disaster with fifteen customers and all but one staff member dead. The police refuse to talk to reporters on what they found in that hotel.
Jump ahead a few years and a documentary crew led by Diane Graves (Alice Bahlke) decide to solve the mysterious case. All they have to work with is a video captured on the phone of a girl who made it out alive. Diane is able to track down the only surviving crew member, Sara Havel (Ryan Jennifer Jones) with hopes to get to the truth.
Sara has more videos, and as she tells Diane what happened that night, we get to see via video all the unexplainable events that took place before the opening.
Sara asks for a break from the interview but suggests that Diane and her crew check out the hotel themselves while she rests. Diane asks Mitchell, a member of her crew, to view the entire footage while Diane and another crew member visit the house. Did I mention scary clowns?
I was not prepared. I was expecting the usual routine fright film, but Hell House LLC was packed with good scares. I did mention the clowns…right? This film creeps up on you, and you find yourself really caring what happens to the crew. My favorite was Paul (Gore Abrams). He wanted to leave the hotel when the first cloaked apparition appeared, but unfortunately no one listened to him.
There are no special effects used in the film…none were needed. The film achieved what it set out to do.: scare the living bejesus out of us, especially when we find out Sara’s secret.
I watched Hell House LLC on Amazon Prime. Watch it!