Wednesday, October 30, 2019

It Picks Up: Hell House

Hell House LLC PosterYes, another review of another found footage film. And another haunted attraction. Rather than a good start that fizzles out, which was the case with The Houses that October Built, Hell House LLC starts slow, slow enough that I stopped for the night and wasn't sure I'd start it back up again. The first half hour or so was taken up by faux interviews that were more telling than showing, which put me off because they felt forced, rather than letting me see and feel the tension of the story for myself.

But once you're in the thick of it, inside the attraction as it's being developed by a bunch of people, then the film really begins. The scares are mostly cheap but extremely effective, as some of the props in the rooms come alive. There's also tension within the group as they replay footage to see what exactly is going on, some freaking out enough to leave, and others convinced that nothing should stop them from opening the haunt.

When that climax comes, however, bringing us back to where we began with an opening night gone deadly wrong, then we're back to not being shown as much as we might want. Not everything, of course, but the amount necessary to feel the suspense of this moment as being more chilling than what's come before during the building stages. And unfortunately we don't get that.

The movie could have ended there, but it chose to create yet another layer, another group of dumb-dumbs who try to investigate the haunt after the worst has happened. By this point, the results are predictable, and the film could have easily done without that entire final segment and been the stronger for it.

Not a perfect film, but definitely some perfectly scary moments. Enough of them for me to recommend this.

K. Rating: 3/5

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