Hell House LLC (2015)
Five years after an unexplained malfunction at a Halloween haunted house attraction causes the death of 15 tour-goers and the staff on opening night, a documentary crew travels back to the scene of the tragedy to find out what really happened.
REVIEW: I know I'm in the minority, but Found Footage is one of my personal favorite sub-genres of horror, and among those Hell House LLC is easily one of my top favorite Found Footage horror movies of the last few years.
It's a bit of a slow burn at times, but in this case it uses that slow burn wisely, letting us get to know and like the characters, something that, in my opinion, is very important to a Found Footage movie. Plus that slow burn is not without its moments of fright scattered here and there either. Some of my favorite creepy moments come during those parts of the movie, like the moment with that tall clown mannequin turning its head at the top of the basement stairs, and the whole strobe light test run sequence in particular got to me like very few horror movies have in a long time. And then when the shit hits in the fan in the final 20 minutes or so, it can get pretty batshit crazy and unsettling.
Unlike most horror movies, and especially Found Footage ones, Hell House LLC relies more on built-up atmosphere and little subtle scares that pack a huge punch, more-so than outright cheap jumpy moments just to illicit a reaction. This is the type of moment that swallows you in its atmosphere and you can't help but feel a growing sense of unease as the movie moves along.
If I have any complaint at all, it would be that the climax is a bit difficult to pick out what exactly is happening during a lot of it, and I feel like we miss a lot of important stuff during the crazy hectic camera shots, movements, and low lighting during it. Which is a shame cause during the entire movie the climax event is built up as this huge terrible tragedy, which don't get me wrong it's still played up as that, except that it's so hard to pick out exactly what the hell is going on during it that you feel more lost than invested.
As far as Found Footage horror goes though, Hell House LLC is definitely right up there with The Houses October Built as one of my favorites of the last few years, if not of all time. It has a great story, a spooky backstory on the abandoned hotel that it takes place in, well-acted characters that you actually get to know and enjoy watching, and plenty of genuinely creepy, and even downright scary, moments. Just don’t expect to have everything neatly explained away by the time the credits roll, as this movie doesn't really supply many answers, but I don't feel such a thing is always necessary when it comes to Found Footage anyway.