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Hell House LLC (2015)

'Hell House LLC' is a film that doesnt get off to the best of starts. Not only did it take me some time to find my place with the plot, but this isn't helped by the jarring opening exposition that features a group of tourists and their own erratic found footage. These scenes were really fast-paced and clunky and this really affected my investment and took me a while to re-engage in the story.

Thankfully, once things start to lean more in to the documentary style way of filming, I slowly became more and more invested as things progressed. For me, this is a style of found footage filming that feels more authentic and structured than the standard, "we found a camera and we are going to watch it, in all its perfectly edited structure". The documentary angle provides a much more digestible and viable way of telling a story that eliminates any need for justifaction to the almost "perfectly constructed" found footage narrative.

One thing 'Hell House LLC' excels in is its ability to keep the audience in a constant state of unease. I have never felt so uncomfortable and anxious watching a found footage film in the way I have this one. I had no idea about what this film consisted of regarding the plot, was it Paranormal? Was it a Slasher? Was it a Creature Feature? This unknowing made the tension so much more unbearable for me, checking every corner of the screen searching for some form of movement or answers. Having no prior knowledge was certainly the best way to experience a film like this.

Though I can't really say that the cast provide Oscar worthy performances, I found their on-screen chemistry to be flawless. One thing a found footage film needs is a convincing and genuinely authentic cast, something 'Hell House LLC' more that delivers on. Paul, played brilliantly by Gore Adams, is the focal point of the story, not only being the camera man but a vast source of the films exposition. His character, although wildly inappropriate at times, is the saving grace of this film and I think without him, this wouldn't of been as enjoyable as it was. The weakest for me was Sara, played by Ryan Jennifer Jones. I found her to be slightly unconvincing at times and I don't think her chemistry with the rest of the group was as strong as everyone else around her.

Once again, as with most found footage films, the ending looses the momentum and tension that was so carefully constructed within the first to thirds of the film becomes lost. Ultimately, dismissing the slow build of anxiety inducing fear, in replacement for fast paced camera work and unresolved plot points, leads to more questions than answers in a story we have been so heavily invested in for the past 80 minutes. Its a shame that 'Hell House LLC' is overshadowed by it's weak opening and closing acts as everything in between is a masterclass in found footage horror.



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