Ginger Nuts of Horror
The core concept revolves around a bunch of friends getting a ramshackle hotel to convert into a horror themed attraction with horrific consequences on the opening night. Straight off I am going to confess that I don’t have much love for ‘Mocumentaries’ and ‘found footage’ films, so it really has to offer something different for me to be interested. Hell House LLC brings it.
During the course of the documentary style footage we are given a very thin idea of what has gone on in the aftermath of the opening-night events; however one person comes forward with tapes made by the organisers who documented all the stages of creating the attraction. So now we have a documenting inside of the documentary which is where the main action happens. Pace varies, switching as it does between interviews, news footage and the organisers footage with all aspects blended ideally so it doesn’t descend into a constant stream of bland chatting or jump scares, the latter of which are in fact few and far between as this film is more reliant on the personal interaction of the main characters as they are largely blaming each other for things such as prop dummies moving mysteriously et cetera.
There is a somewhat obvious back story of a suicide at the hotel which is of little consequence but some nice little touches associated with this, none of which detract from the story proper and the whole thing comes across as an authentic documentary.
The acting, to me at least, is a triumph. In the organiser footage the actors all come across as real people whose only awareness of being filmed is seemingly from their friend filming them with a camcorder. The dialogue is entirely natural, no forced scenes, no nudity and everything just has a perfectly natural feeling as if we are witnessing genuine events.
One of the things I really liked about this film is that a lot of what is in it as far as the special effects are concerned is very straightforward. With it being a themed attraction they litter it with horror paraphernalia, plastic severed limbs, big rubber spiders, scary clown mannequins and so forth. That was one of the more interesting aspects as one could never be sure whether what you were looking at was something they had rigged up or not, and even the things they had rigged often had the tendency to not remain where they had put them. Another thing I liked was that wasn’t the typical gorefest, with tension being heightened by panic as opposed to the usual blood and guts.
It’s all in all a beautifully simple film which delivers the goods effortlessly.
DVD Special Features
Director’s commentary track
Feature film extended cut (97 minutes)
Feature film includes recovered basement footage.
Over 30 minutes of bonus material.
Behind the scenes video
Cast auditions video
Unreleased movie trailer
DVD Release Date: October 1, 2017 – DVD only. Purchase at http://hellhousellc.com
UK RESIDENTS BEWARE: It does state on the site that it is a region 1 DVD and that shipping is for USA and Canada only.