Hell House

"Excellent"

Hell House Review


We're all going to hell, one way or another - just like Curtis Mayfield sang in the 1970 hit song. But if you need proof, just check out the disturbing and brilliant documentary Hell House, a creepy exposé on a small Pentecostal church in Texas is it attempts to win converts from the dark Lord.

The film takes us deep into the heart of Texas to Trinity Church and its controversial, annual Halloween haunted house called Hell House. But this is no phony ghost event. It's a surreal and twisted journey, filled with numerous penny operas about drugs, suicide, raves, homosexuality, AIDS, and drunk driving, all conceived and performed by the Church's devoted flock.

The opening shots of the church members in pre-production meetings and in prayer circles tell us we are far from any well-known version of reality. What follows is an alarming series of vignettes concerning the conception, planning, building, and execution of the haunted house. There are a series of laughable high school drama queens auditioning for Drug Dealer #1 with Shotgun or Raver Girl Who Takes A Mysterious Date Rape Drug and Slits Her Wrists Hours Later. Two church volunteers argue over whether or not a pentagram should be red or white. The local law officer tests the .38 caliber guns on loan from the Sheriff's department for use in various Hell House vignettes including the "Classroom Suicide" scene.

Opinions on religious zealotry aside, Hell House delivers a cornucopia of wonderful snippets of faithful people trying to redeem the world from the entrapments of Satan. The director of the documentary, George Ratliff, captures the innocence and naïve intentions of Hell House by Trinity's congregation with sharp interviews set against brilliant white backgrounds - radiant in the glow of a digital video projection.

And they aren't all wackos. One churchgoer relates a real-life experience of divorce caused by Internet chat rooms, telling the disconcerting tale of an abusive father killing his wife and daughter after discovering the wife's extra-marital affair on the family computer. It's both harrowing and interesting.

Screened at the 45th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival.

Hell on sheets.



Hell House

Facts and Figures

Run time: 55 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 30th March 2006

Production compaines: Mixed Greens Media

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 8.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: George Ratliff

Producer: Zach Mortensen, George Ratliff, Selina Lewis

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.