Hell House LLC 2: The Abaddon Hotel (2018)
It's been eight years since the opening night tragedy of Hell House, LLC and still many unanswered questions remain. Thanks to an anonymous tip, investigative journalist Jessica Fox is convinced that key evidence is hidden inside the abandoned Abaddon Hotel - evidence that will shed light on the hotel's mysteries. She assembles a team equally hungry for answers with one goal: break into the hotel and discover the truth.
REVIEW: Hell House LLC 2: The Abaddon Hotel was easily one of my most anticipated movies of the year. The first Hell House LLC is one of my favorite found footage horror movies, possibly of all time. The level of fear, unease, and tension that movie portrayed was just unreal, so when I heard a sequel was coming this year it instantly moved to the top of my anticipation list.
What a gigantic disappointment Hell House LLC 2: The Abaddon Hotel turned out to be. This is right up there with The Houses October Built 2: Hellbent as one of the most disappointing sequels to an amazing first Found Footage movie that I've ever seen (and this coming from someone that actually likes Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2).
It feels like the filmmaker forgot or didn't realize what made the first movie so damn scary in the first place. There is no subtlety to any of the scares in this one. Instead of a mannequin turning its head just off camera or being moved around off camera while the characters arn't focused on it, we instead see them full on stand up and walk around right in front of the camera. Instead of a shadow moving in the background behind a character as they're talking we get a full figure just strolling on by the camera like they're trying to recreate the Sasquatch from the Gimlin-Patterson film. Instead of hearing mysterious noises coming from another room we see doors slamming open/shut on their own and objects moving around the room in full force.
There's nothing even resembling realism or subtlety anywhere in this movie, and that just frustrated me more and more as the movie went on because the first movie did that kind of stuff so damn well. Sure, the rare moments that do genuinely START to get a LITTLE creepy, and I start feeling at least a LITTLE bit of faith in what's about to happen... it then instead instantly cuts to footage of a talk show (which itself takes up half the damn movie), ruining the flow and what little bit of tension buildup they almost had.
Sure, there's nothing for the movie to even really build up towards anyway. The main climax, if it can be called that, is simply a cartoony comic book villain type character monologuing like a James Bond villain for 10+ minutes. That's it. A far cry from the total insane chaos of the climax of the first movie, that's for damn sure.
It's also not helped that his acting, rather, all of the acting in this really, is pretty atrocious. While the first movie was filled with likable characters that were acted well and everything felt natural, this movie is filled with unlikable characters, that are acted really bad, and everything about them, from their personalities to their dialogue, just feels forced.
Even the much-expanded backstory and lore of the hotel and it's 'occupants' feels so much more forced this time around than in the first movie. Where the first movie felt like it could, almost, potentially, take place in the real world (if you believe in the supernatural), something that all good Found Footage movies do, this one just destroys that by going way too far into unrealism that it was impossible to wrap yourself up in the 'found' footage and really truly put yourself into these events.
I do honestly hate being so incredibly negative about something though, so I do want to list at least a couple things about it that I enjoyed before I end this off. The filming style and quality is actually improved over the first movie. It was never difficult to pick anything out and the entire thing looks gorgeous on a visual aesthetic level, and as mentioned above there were one or two moments where the movie felt like it could potentially start to portray some genuine tension, if it wasn't for the instant cutting to more talk show footage right at the wrong time.
I'm sure there are people out there that love this movie, possibly even more than they do the first one, and I'm glad for that. Nobody's work should go unappreciated and I'm happy there are people out there that love the hell out of Hell House LLC 2. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them as not very much about this movie worked for me on any level. I do still hope we get a Hell House LLC 3 down the line, but I also hope that it's much more in line with the style and talent of the first movie than with this one.