Film Review: Hell House LLC – 8/10

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Wow. I don’t fully know why horror is my favourite genre but I suspect it is something to do with trying to recapture that feeling from my childhood. You know the one. When a floorboard creaks in the middle of the night. When those shapes in the dark start to look like a face. That feeling you get when your heart starts trying to punch its way out your chest and your breath sticks in your throat. I watch horror films because I want to feel that again. God knows why…

Unfortunately, as I get older, it becomes more and more difficult to recapture that feeling of pure terror that invaded bed time like the ghost at the feast. Occasionally, a film will come damn close. Hell House LLC succeeds where so many other horror films I watch fail. It genuinely scared me.

Alex Taylor and his group of friends have a business creating haunted houses for the good people of New York City. When they take over the abandoned Abbadon Hotel awaken an ancient evil that threatens to consume them all. The concept of having a horror film set inside a ghost walk is an ingenious and very modern idea. Throw found footage, viral video and the hint of a religious cult into the mix and you have something that perfectly captures the current horror zeitgeist. There are a bunch of films that have tried to capture this kind of mood before with only varying degrees of success. Grave Encounters makes for the most obvious bedfellow and while Hell House LLC is certainly indebted to that masterpiece, it also very possibly surpasses it.

Even more impressive is the fact that this film came from the twisted mind of first time writer/director Stephen Cognetti. He has the assured visual style of somebody far more experienced and he allows the story to be as creepy as possible without always relying on jump scares or gore.

Horror films is similar to music in as much as it may seem that everything out there is cynical and vacuous but if you are willing to dig a little deeper you might just dig up a coffin containing something as special as Hell House LLC. Essential viewing for any horror fans.

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