Hell House LLC

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Hell House LLC
Hell House LLC poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byStephen Cognetti
Produced byJoe Bandelli
Craig Cognetti
David Cognetti
Joseph Cognetti
Kevin Cognetti
Mark Cognetti
Matt DePaola
Written byStephen Cognetti
StarringRyan Jennifer
Danny Bellini
Gore Abrams
Jared Hacker
Adam Schneider
Alice Bahlke
CinematographyBrian C. Harnick
Release date
  • October 16, 2015 (2015-10-16) (Telluride Horror Show)
  • November 1, 2016 (2016-11-01)
Running time
83 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Hell House LLC is a 2015 American found-footage horror film written and directed by Stephen Cognetti and produced by Fbi Films. The film, shot as a documentary, follows a group of Halloween haunted house creators as they prepare for the 2009 opening of their popular haunted attraction, Hell House. Tragedy strikes on opening night when an unknown malfunction causes the death of fifteen tour-goers and staff. The film reveals the lead-up to the tragedy and documenting what exactly went wrong that night which has been a mystery to the public. The film was released on a number of video on-demand platforms, including Amazon Video, YouTube, Vudu, and iTunes, on November 1, 2016.[1]

A sequel, Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel, was released exclusively on Shudder on September 20, 2018.[2] A second sequel, Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire was released in September 2019.

Story[edit]

On October 8, 2009, Hell House LLC opened its doors to the public for their annual Halloween haunted tour, taking place outside of New York City for the first time in the small town of Abaddon in Rockland County, New York, just outside the city. The Hell House crew had picked the abandoned Abaddon Hotel for their haunt. By the following morning, fifteen tour-goers and staff were confirmed dead at the Hell House attraction. What happened during the opening night was unclear, and authorities only said an "unknown malfunction" occurred that night. It was produced as a "true story", but not all facts could be proven.

Five years later, a documentary crew led by producer Diane Graves decides to investigate the tragedy further. They interview people familiar with the case, including a journalist who had broken into the closed-off abandoned hotel a few years after the incident and snapped controversial photos that led people to believe something more mysterious happened that night than what had been made public. The documentary team lands a break when the only surviving member of the Hell House staff, Sara Havel, agrees to be interviewed and provides them with never-before-seen footage shot by the members of Hell House themselves leading up to the night of the tragedy.

The Hell House tapes start from there. They document the full Hell House crew (Alex, Sara, Mac, Tony, and Paul) and their arrival at the abandoned Abaddon Hotel, where they go to work on setting it up for their haunted attraction. As the days go on, unexplainable events begin to happen to the Hell House Crew. In a building escalation of paranormal events, Alex, the CEO of the company, is determined to press on and not allow his crew to be scared out of the hotel. Despite bitter disagreements between other members of Hell House, Alex convinces the group to stay and opening night goes on as planned. The footage reveals in eerie detail exactly how the tragedy took place and the paranormal forces behind the deaths of all fifteen tour-goers and staff.

Production[edit]

In 2011, the film's executive producers asked for a script revolving around a haunted attraction gone wrong. After many rewrites, the script was locked by late 2013. Casting took place in New York City in February 2014, and production took place shortly after, in May. Initially, the filmmakers were in search of an abandoned house to shoot the film in, as the original script had the events taking place in a house. As early as 2012, the director had been visiting many abandoned buildings and homes, including two in the New York county where the story takes place, Rockland County. After not finding anything suitable, they instead began searching for real haunted house attractions to shoot in. They found the haunted attraction called the Haunting at the Waldorf Hotel in Lehighton, Pennsylvania, run by Angie Moyer, who served as the film's set designer. The script had to be changed in a few areas to reflect the change in setting.

After filming wrapped in Lehighton in May, the production then moved to New York City, where most of the interviews were filmed. In mid-June, filming was complete, and the movie went to post-production, where it would be edited for the next five months, before the first private screening of a rough cut would be seen in the Rose Studio at Lincoln Center.

After a few more rounds of re-cuts, the film was locked just before its first public screening at the Telluride Horror Show in October 2015. The film would also screen at Fear Fete Film Festival the same week, where it won the best paranormal film award. The worldwide distribution rights for Hell House LLC were acquired by Terror Films, with a North American VOD release date of November 1, 2016.

Cast[edit]

  • Ryan Jennifer as Sara Havel
  • Danny Bellini as Alex Taylor
  • Gore Abrams as Paul O'Keefe
  • Jared Hacker as Tony Prescott
  • Adam Schneider as Andrew McNamara
  • Alice Bahlke as Diane Graves
  • Phil Hess as Joey
  • Lauren A Kennedy as Melissa
  • Jeb Kreager as Martin Cliver

Reception[edit]

Dread Central gave the film a positive review, awarding it a score of 3.4/5.[3] Found Footage Critic praised the cast, premise, and cinematography, giving the film a rating of 7.8 of 10.[4] The Horror Society gave a score of 8.75 out of 10 and saying the mystery and suspense works for this film.[5] Luke Rodriguez of Modern Horror was more critical of the film, saying that "it doesn't quite stick the landing", but otherwise enjoyed the film.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hell House LLC Stalks One Man in the "Middle of the Night"". 28dayslateranalysis. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  2. ^ "Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel".
  3. ^ "Hell House LLC (2016) – Dread Central". dreadcentral.com. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Hell House LLC (2016) Review – Found Footage Critic". foundfootagecritic.com. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Review: Hell House LLC (2016)". horrorsociety.com. 5 November 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  6. ^ Rodriguez, Luke (2016-11-01). "Hell House LLC [Review]". Modern Horrors. Retrieved 2017-01-24.

External links[edit]