Movie Review – Hell House LLC (Shudder)
Hey Horror Fanatics,
As you’re probably aware, I’ve largely been MIA in regards to movies and TV reviews as of late.
Lately, juggling writing, reading, and the end of Camp Nano just seems to fill up my day, and I’m actually falling behind on other important things like promoting my debut novella Reaper and getting new eyes on it. I’ve also been super picky with new shows and movies, flipping from one to the next for no apparent reason. Color me restless!
Anywho, this is my attempt to reboot this segment after my break from it, and lucky for you I’ve got something teeming with chills and thrills. Today’s movie review is for Hell House LLC, now playing on the Shudder App.
Five years after an unexplained malfunction causes the death of 15 tour-goers and staff on the opening night of a Halloween haunted house tour, a documentary crew travels back to the scene of the tragedy to find out what really happened.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie, especially since it was the first one I could stand in quite some time.
So before you get invested, please note that this movie is shot like a documentary (example: Blair Witch, Chronicle, etc). Personally, I don’t usually care for this type of film POV, but it actually worked in this case.
Our story begins years after a terrible incident at an infamous location named “Hell House.” The coverage begins by following several experts who give their account on what they think happened on that fateful night, then we see what little footage the police were able to gather from that night.
From there, the movie switches over to an interviewer meeting with a surviving founding member of Hell House (it used to be a restaurant/B&B of sorts), who claims to have footage of the travesty that has never been seen by the police or anyone else.
Obviously, you can probably guess where this is headed. A trip down morbid memory lane, yay!
In this movie, we are taken back to the events leading up to the Hell House incident. What will we see? Is this a bona fide supernatural occurrence or is it all just a bunch of bologna?
Things I Liked
Concept for starters! This idea was actually pretty original. You’ve got a group of friends that have ran haunted houses successfully before in other bigger cities. Now they are in a small town called Abaddon in New York. After taking a look at this abandoned B&B/restaurant, they can’t say no to using the space for scaring the pants off of the locals. I mean, from the get go, this house feels wrong, ALL CAPS! I don’t recall a plot quite like this before, so I was definitely hooked from the get go.
Next, the spook factor. Now I won’t say that the scary parts were all great. But there were definitely parts of this movie that actually had me a bit scared, and that doesn’t happen all that often. Of course, I’m not going to spoil it for you, but there are several points in the movie where I felt myself thinking “Oh hell no!” or “Run, run!”
Lastly, the pacing. Horror movies can vary with pacing, but I like to have a really good build up before the scares really start happening (example: The Descent had a GREAT build up even though it was nearly thirty minutes before anything scary happened) so that I’m invested in the characters when the chills and thrills start happening. This movie had plenty of good build up. While the characters didn’t have too much depth to them, I still enjoyed that they didn’t make this a sprint to the scares. It was a marathon.
Things I Disliked
Lack of depth. While this movie was entertaining, I felt overall it did lack some depth to it. The characters are simple, and while I can understand that based on their age (Oh, the things we do in our 20’s), we never truly figure out all of the things that happened at this former bed and breakfast. That can be really aggravating, but it didn’t bug me too much.
Overall, Hell House LLC is a truly scary film that will get the blood flowing, both on and off screen. Chills, thrills, and haunts abound. What’s not to like? This movie gets a solid 6.5/7 out of 10.
Happy watching, and don’t forget to leave your night light on!
PS: Hell House 2 is also on Shudder, so guess what your boy Jonny has planned for this weekend?
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