Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned haunted house? Some of my fondest Halloween memories are paying way to much to watch through a shoddily put-together haunted house as people in bad costumes scream at you. What memories.
Heck, during my senior year, my class held a fundraiser and created our own haunted house and it was amazing. The House of Terror… a three-story attraction with a haunted attic, a pitch-black maze, a foggy lake, and the traditional chainsaws chasing people out of the exit. It was almost 30 years ago and we raised over four thousand dollars over the course of a few days.
I loved it.
I also love scary movies, obviously, and when I learned that there was a found footage movie about a haunted house gone wrong, I knew that it would either be the greatest movie ever, the worst movie ever, or probably a little of both.
I’m pleased to announce that Hell House LLC is actually way more good than bad. As a movie, it doesn’t do anything amazing, there are no technological breakthroughs, and nothing breaks new ground. Hell House LLC is a typical found footage movie, but… it’s a great typical found footage movie that takes all of the gags we’ve seen before in The Blair Witch Project, REC, and the like and executes them all with talent and finesse propelling a somewhat ordinary movie into something elevated.
There are no characters I would call breakouts and, honestly, I’m struggling to remember who is who as none of them left a lasting impression. The true standouts of this movie are the ghosts… both seen and unseen. One of the great things about found footage movies is the documentary feel allowing the movie to let the audience take a second look at scenes with dark figures in the background that, perhaps, one didn’t notice the first time.
I actually love the documentary style that this movie took rather that rely on nothing but the found footage. Intercut in between the shaky digital cam pictures are professional style interviews that not only give the viewers a break, but also add more of a mythology to the events happening.
In any case, it’s an approach few found footage movies take.
So, that’s my take. Hell House LLC isn’t completely original, but it is clever with what it is and does genuinely cause some real chills. The ending is a bit of a let down as it feels rushed and, considering how the events of the fateful final night are built up during the course of the film, it feels like a disappointment.
Still, even with the less than stellar conclusion, Hell House LLC is one of the best found footage movies I’ve ever come across.