Even if you do not agree with the message that the Hell House haunt is purveying, you will find the Hell House documentary fascinating.
The tour of the house itself is a surreal mix of cheap gore and religious zeal. It's a penetrating look into life in rural Texas, and a thoroughly enjoyable, disturbing, and darkly-funny film to watch.
| Original Score: A-
I encourage everyone to watch it and discuss the difference between Christ's ministry and the 'ministry' of these high-pressure gospel salesmen.
| Original Score: A
The whole thing's like a Jack Chick comic tract come to life, and it would be easy to condescend to, but director George Ratliff has not done so.
Perhaps it is as Albert Einstein said, 'Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish.'
| Original Score: 4/5
It is a strength of a documentary to disregard available bias, especially as temptingly easy as it would have been with this premise.
By focusing on the basic decency of these people [Ratliffe] exquisitely captures the irony of a community at odds with its god's message of unconditional love.
| Original Score: 5/5
It's up to you to decide whether to admire these people's dedication to their cause or be repelled by their dogmatism, manipulativeness and narrow, fearful view of American life.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
A tad controversial, Hell House doesn't exist to cast stones, but rather document their hurlers.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
A life-size reenactment of those Jack Chick cartoon tracts that always ended with some hippie getting tossed into the lake of fire.
Despite what anyone believes about the goal of its makers, the show ... represents a spectacular piece of theater, and there's no denying the talent of the creative forces behind it.
| Original Score: 3/4
Frightening, well-done documentary.
For anyone unfamiliar with pentacostal practices in general and theatrical phenomenon of Hell Houses in particular, it's an eye-opener.
| Original Score: 3/5
As a director, Mr. Ratliff wisely rejects the temptation to make fun of his subjects.
Ratliff's two previous titles, Plutonium Circus and Purgatory County show his penchant for wry, contentious configurations, and this film is part of that delicate canon.
| Original Score: 85/100
Lookin' for sin, American-style? Try Hell House, which documents the cautionary Christian spook-a-rama of the same name.
It is to director George Ratliff's credit that he refuses to exploit the Trinity folks or depict them as freaks.
This is more fascinating -- being real -- than anything seen on Jerry Springer.
Often hilarious, well-shot and, importantly, entertaining, Hell House is a fascinating document of an event that has to be seen to be believed.
The Trinity Assembly approaches the endeavor with a shocking lack of irony, and George Ratliff's documentary, Hell House, reflects their earnestness - which makes for a terrifying film.