This one’s gonna be short and sweet, because how much really needs to be said about another found footage movie? As it turns out, thankfully, HELL HOUSE LLC is actually a pretty decent one, but it’s also populated by the usual assortment of characters no one in their right mind would ever care about, much less be friends with in real life.
The setup is right there on the poster. A group of colleagues who specialize in running haunted houses in, (deep breath, pure Old El Paso voice) NEW YORK CITY! decide to take their gig about 40 minutes outside of Manhattan, and they’ve found a real sweet property in Abaddon. I’d say it seems too good to be true, but this abandoned hotel is a total dump, which I guess makes it the perfect place for a chintzy haunted house in upstate New York.
As the crew soon finds out, something real bad went on here, and whatever’s left of it is going to end up claiming lives by the time opening night is upon them. The framing device is pretty standard fare for found footage: investigative reporters are trying to get to the bottom of what really happened in the basement of Hell House on opening night, and the surviving proprietor just so happens to have a stack of tapes that show everything from their perspective.
It actually works pretty well, and half the anticipation comes in wanting to see what kind of spooky stuff occurred in these harrowing haunted halls for yourself. Hell House LLC delivers on its promise and has a few genuinely unnerving gags, most of which center on one of the nasty dudes below popping up inexplicably throughout the house while the crew crashes there in the weeks leading up to launch.
I’m convinced the only reason anyone cares about found footage is because we’re dying to see something on them tapes. Whether it’s Bigfoot’s dumpy-ass strut or a blurry UFO, real-life found footage always disappoints. So, we turn with pwease-may-I-see-it eyes toward any filmmaker looking to make something on a dime, and we either come away annoyed or pleasantly surprised. Hell House LLC entertained me enough to put it on my “why not watch it?” list, so enter this house if ye dare whenever you’re hankering for some shaky cam shrieks.
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