After a three month exclusive deal with Shudder, Hell House LLC 2: The Abaddon Hotel has made its way to most digital platforms courtesy of Terror Films. The first movie, Hell House LLC, topped my favorite movies list in 2016 and I still remember certain scenes that genuinely scared the shit out of me. I was excited when I heard that a sequel was in production, but I was also slightly apprehensive because I wasn’t certain that a second movie could do it any justice aka the sophomore slump. Could a sequel really hold up? Having watched Hell House LLC 2: The Abaddon Hotel this morning, my answer to that is a loud, resounding YES! Although, my answer isn’t as clear cut as the first time, I’m still pegging Hell House LLC 2: The Abaddon Hotel as one of the best found footage features of the last three years. As an independent production, it’s absolutely astonishing to see a movie execute such startling mood and unrelenting horror with such a meager budget. Writer/Director Stephen Cognetti, producer Joe Bandelli, co-producers Matt Depaola & Angie Moyer and cinematographer Joe Schufrieder have defied the odds and hurdled the sophomore slump, once again delivering a found footage feature that’s going to give you a panic attack. Beware! Or, ya know, stream this on demand today!
It’s eight years after the opening night massacre of Hell House LLC and to this day many questions are left unanswered. However, just because time has passed, doesn’t mean the spirits in the abandoned hotel are at rest. Supernatural activity still haunts the victims’ families and the phenomenon is receiving national attention. Thanks to an anonymous tip, there’s a break in the case and an investigate journalist is convinced that the key to solving the case is hidden somewhere in The Abaddon Hotel. After assembling a small team, they adventure into the porter to Hell with one goal: discover the truth behind the rash of disappearances and why the property is a beacon for evil. Written and directed by Stephen Cognetti, Hell House LLC 2: The Abaddon Hotel stars Vasile Flutur, Jillian Geurts, Joy Shatz, Dustin Austen, Brian David Tracy, Kyle Ingleman, Amanda Morales and Laura Frenzer. With nods, references, homages and brief appearances from the original ill-fated cast and a return to the haunted location, this film is a found footage feature length documentary you don’t want to miss!
When I think about the film’s most chilling moments, they’re definitely more prevalent in the beginning of the film; when the fear from the last film is still fresh and the novelty of the series hasn’t worn off yet. Without giving away spoilers, the “text messages commentary,” “the guy on the steps” and the “hallway guest” were the scariest parts. Towards the end, though, the film diverges to a different path; much in the same way the previous installment did. While I’m not a big fan of this plot device, rather wanting to stick with the ghost story-lines, Hell House LLC 2: The Abaddon Hotel doesn’t linger on this for too long. But it does add to the mythology that’s probably going to be explored in the unofficially announced third movie. Another thing I wasn’t a big fan of was the television panel who discussed previous happenings and evidence. It would have been a good idea if used sparingly, but I think the panel of commentators was used too much. Still, Hell House LLC 2: The Abaddon Hotel beats the pants off of any Paranormal Activity movie (except the first one) and it looks better than its own predecessor. Well done, congratulations cast and crew for a movie that upped the anty in film quality all while simultaneously adding to the overarching story.
One of my notes reads “What an atmosphere!” Hell House LLC 2: The Abaddon Hotel is inherently scary and chokingly suspenseful. If you watch it in the dark, you’re going to feel like you’re trapped in the hotel, too, and you’ll be shielding your face or protecting your body whenever one of the investigators turns a corner. It’s alluring, alarming and psychologically damaging. It’s not as strong as the first film, because we’ve seen some of the material before, but god damnit if it isn’t awesome. Any film that manages to scare me and make me feel uncomfortable deserves a round of applause and a high score. Find Hell House LLC 2: The Abaddon Hotel on digital platforms today! Final Score: 8 out of 10.