A documentary crew revisits the case of Hell House, LLC. Five years earlier, an entertainment promoter and his team took their annual haunted attraction to an abandoned hotel in Abbadon, New York, about 30 miles outside of New York City. Fifteen people died on opening night.
‘Hell House’ is a little slow to start, beginning with interviews with survivors followed by a review of the found footage from the attraction’s crew. Getting a behind the scenes glimpse of the setup for such a complex attraction is still enough to hold interest. The obstacles they encounter help build the story.
The story is original and interesting with minimal gore and strong performances from the cast. Taking the approach of starting near the end and reflecting on the events leading up to the tragic outcome enhances the build-up and anticipation. The background of the hotel could use a few more minutes but this is a minor criticism.
The hybrid of documentary story-telling and POV found-footage is well done with members of the staff directly addressing the camera in most scenes. The found-footage angle uses a reasonably steady camera and the content in each scene is appropriate. The documentary story is also compelling and adds a realistic feel to the film.
‘Hell House’ is a great entry into the haunted house sub-genre of horror, delivering some good, creepy scares. Some of them may linger with you after viewing.
Appropriate gore 8
Production Value 9
Final Cut Score: 45=90