The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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No consensus yet.
All Critics (6)
| Fresh (5)
| Rotten (1)
This is not a movie manufactured from within the conceit of aspiring filmmakers hoping to make a low-budget wave, either: what these people have created is a credible descent into the material.
If you enjoy quality found footage, and find subtle scares to be the most terrifying, then Hell House LLC is the film for you. It is the perfect Halloween horror flick to watch with a group if you want a good scare.
Extremely seasonal in the best way.
While not all of its scares work perfectly, it's a damn fine piece of found footage horror. It also has a creepy clown that puts Pennywise to shame.
With a terrific concept at hand, if slightly undone by a weaker screenplay, Hell House LLC is definitely a decent watch in the run-up to Halloween.
The camerawork is handled better than in many such works, and the layered plot adds a modicum of mystery, but the characters are woefully underdeveloped and the acting flat and toneless.
And now we come to that most contentious and much-maligned of any horror subgenre, the found footage horror movie. I've always felt the need to come to the defense of the genre simply because there's so many of these out there and I'm sure that everyone who hates these movies has not seen all of them to make a blanket statement on the entire subgenre without coming across like some sort of blowhard. It's like the people who say horror is the worst film genre without, really, truly, examining the genre in-depth. They just look at the more mainstream films released and make their assessments based on that. Though, to be fair, horror, as a whole, is far more complex and intricate, when done right, than found footage films have proven to be, but that's not to say that there isn't a lot of creativity within the genre as it relates to budget filmmaking. Having said that, that's not to say that there aren't those who lazily put together a movie using this style, because it's cheaper, and releasing a crappy movie. But movies like Trollhunter, Afflicted, Rec, Rec 2, Paranormal Activity, Chronicle, Man Bites Dog (which is more a mockumentary, to be fair), Creep, Creep 2, among others have all brought their own unique twist and used their visual style effectively in order to get the most amount of scares they can. Again, the genre isn't perfect and it's got its annoying tropes and cliches, like the shaky camera, the glitchy/distorted footage, a character being dragged off camera, that's one the floor in front of them, by an unseen character, etc, etc, etc. That the visual style is in and of itself an acquired taste, I cannot deny. And some people get motion sickness from these movies and that's fine, but that doesn't make it fair to lump in all movies in this style in the same group, because, again, there's some pretty great found footage movies out there and it's not exactly fair to lump all those in with the shit movies in the genre. But, when you're talking about this movie, however, where does it fall in within the genre? Is it one of the best, as one of the blurbs on the trailer said? Or is it horrible? Honestly, I would say that the movie falls somewhere in the middle. It certainly falls very flat as an effective and entertaining horror movie, to be sure. And, the sad thing is, that this really could have legitimately been a fun little diversion. Perhaps nothing that would have changed the minds of cynics, but a fun little diversion to watch with a group of friends leading up to Halloween. As it stands, it's just a bland horror movie that falls way short of the standards of some of the great movies in this subgenre. The movie takes the form of a documentary regarding this tragedy that occurred at Hell House, this Halloween haunted house attraction. Apparently, there were several deaths and there was a lot of chaos inside the house when everything went down. However, the police investigation yielded no answers, they kept everything under wraps, refusing to tell even the families of the victims involved in this tragedy. So, this documentary crew sets out to find the truth of what went down. They, eventually, find one of the members of the original Hell House crew and interview her about what happened. Naturally, because of course they did, she has video footage of everything that happened leading up to the opening night of the house, which is when the shit hit the fan. So you get to see the footage spliced in with interviews with Sara, the member of the Hell House crew, an author, a person who was there in the house when it happened and a journalist, I believe. So I do like that about the movie, it gives it a bit of dynamism in that it isn't just seeing the Hell House crew set up the abandoned hotel and making it into a haunted house. You're exploring this mystery as to what happened at this hotel and they do a good job at keeping you at arm's bay regarding what it may be. But, sadly, this still does not add up to a good movie. I think one of the issues is that, to me, creepy clowns aren't enough to compensate for the fact that the first 2/3rds of the movie are really kind of boring. Yes, they're setting the stage up for what is going to happen in the third act and they're doing so at a relatively steady pace. But, if I'm gonna be honest, I just wasn't interested in it. I think the movie focuses more on the friction that exists between the Hell House group as the events in the house start getting increasingly stranger. And, quite frankly, none of these characters are intriguing or, even worse, that likable. They all act like douches, particularly Paul at first. And the little bits and pieces of strange shit going on leading to Paul's initial disappearance doesn't make up for the fact that the movie just really isn't that interesting to watch. I think a lot of how you feel about the movie will hinge on what you thought about the third act, but it's not like if you thought the third act was great that that somehow negates the other 2/3rds of the movie. The acting isn't bad, that's not the problem, the problem is that the scripting of these characters wasn't exactly interesting nor was the rest of the movie around them. It relies on a lot of the tired genre cliches without ever bother to add anything new of their own. And, of course, that's not to say that a movie needs to be unique to be enjoyable. But, since this isn't enjoyable, I felt that the least they could do was, at least, attempt to try something a little different. But it plays into genre tropes in the least interesting way. I thought the third act itself was also pretty bad. Not only because it didn't pay off what we had seen in a satisfying manner, like the horror didn't pick up that noticeably or become more effective in this act. There was a lot of chaos, yes, but that doesn't mean that what I was seeing was registering, because it wasn't. The movie does the bare minimum to get by and it's really quite the disappointing third act. The reveal that it's some sort of satanic cult doesn't really do much for me either, because it has no real relevance to anything that we see go on in the film. Yes, the Abbadon Hotel, which was closed down, had a dark past, but the Satanic cult thing was a little out of left field, I don't see how it makes any sense within the context of this movie's narrative. Maybe it does make sense and I just need to figure it out on my own but, unlike movies like The Endless or Hereditary, which give you enough clues to piece together the mystery while also enthralling you and holding your attention, this one does absolutely none of that. I could not have cared less about what was happening and I am not interested in knowing what it was that was going on because, in reality, it wouldn't have changed anything. Also, honestly, the found footage style was a detriment to this movie, in the third act, because, with all the glitches and distortion, honestly, I could not tell what was happening half the time. So, yea, this is definitely not a bad movie, but I didn't get any enjoyment from this whatsoever. I can't recommend it, even with a group of friends. You've got better things to do with your time, like trimming your nose hair. Also, it turns out that this film, on Letterboxd and RottenTomatoes, has a surprisingly positive audience reception. Hey, to each their own, but I feel like I was watching a different movie and they were watching Afflicted or something, because I didn't enjoy this at all.
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