Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel
hell house llc | hell house llc ii: the abaddon hotel | stephen cognetti | vasile flutur | jillian geurts | joy shatz | found footage | haunted | haunted house | ghost | ghosts | demon | demons | sequel | mystery | united states | brian david tracy | ritual | cult
Film: Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel
Director: Stephen Cognetti
Writer: Stephen Cognetti
Starring: Vasile Flutur, Jillian Geurts and Joy Shatz
Now I'll be honest, I was late to the game for the original Hell House LLC and I believe this sequel was already made by the time I saw the original with 3rd film in the series coming out soon after, but I don't completely remember. This movie popped up when I did a randomizer for a number that correlated to a movie for something that I do for Featured Reviews in January over on Journey with a Cinephile: A Horror Movie Podcast. The synopsis here is eight years since the opening night tragedy of Hell House, LLC and still there are many unanswered questions remaining. Thanks to an anonymous tip, investigative journalist Jessica Fox (Jillian Geurts) is convinced that key evidence is hidden inside the abandoned Abaddon Hotel, evidence that will shed light on the hotel's mysteries.
This starts us off stating that a film production company has been receiving footage over the last 2 years. It is compiled into this film we're about to see, but what we are does not reflect their beliefs. I did enjoy this as a cover-up and helping with the realism as I see disclaimers like this regularly on movies I own when it comes to commentaries or even television shows.
We then get a few different stories of people that have gone into the Abaddon Hotel and have never been seen again. We get an eerie one of Jackson Mallet (Tom Sibley) through his mother telling us things. Her name is Wendy (Laura Frenzer). What I like here is we see a home movie of Jackson as a boy, playing a tune on a keyboard and the name of the hotel pops up. This is establishing that how strong the entities are within this hotel along with showing how far back this goes.
The movie then shifts over to one of our major parts. There is a television show called Morning Mysteries that is hosted by Suzy McCombs (Amanda K. Morales). She is hosting a panel talking about the Abaddon Hotel and what happened with Hell House, LLC. On here is Mitchell Cavanaugh (Vasile Flutur) who is the only surviving member. With him on the show as a member of the city council is Arnold Tasselman (Brian David Tracy). He's there to convince the audience and those involved there's nothing going on inside of this hotel. He is hoping this will get everyone to leave the place alone. There is also a TV psychic of Brock Davies (Kyle Ingleman) who is looking to build on his fame and use the Abaddon Hotel as part of it. There is a lot of name calling and bickering back and forth. This also helps to establish more of the back-story with the other major part.
Then the other main part is that we have a blog called The Inside. They do investigative journalism and actually exposed some politicians who are now behind bars. Jessica runs this along with Molly Reynolds (Joy Shatz) and David Morris (Dustin Austen). They seek out Mitchell's help where, despite what he claims, he does go back into the Abaddon Hotel with them. They believe there are tapes in the basement that will unlock the truth of what is happening there. They're joined by Brock and his camera man for a nightmare they weren't expecting.
To shift over to the analysis, I do like what this movie is doing here in theory. The original was supposedly happening in 2010 from what I gather where this movie is taking place more in present times. What happened in the Abaddon Hotel has drawn a lot of interest so we have people who shouldn’t be going in and there are documentary shows as well which all feels pretty real. I will say though the execution isn’t always there for me unfortunately.
I’ll start though with what I did like. Everything for the most part in the Abaddon Hotel worked for me. I like bringing back Mitchell as he was there previously so he can navigate and relays things. It gets explained why he was allowed to leave. We also get a few things that happen here that correlate back to the original movie. This all works for me. We see a character like Melissa (Lauren A. Kennedy) hitchhiking and there’s a bit here explaining how people who were missing were interviewed as well.
Sticking with the hotel, I really like that we’re getting that there’s something supernatural going on there so that is why people can’t leave at times. Using the found-footage angle does make this creepier. I’ll be honest, I watched this alone, at night and in the dark. When it ended, there were a few things that stuck with me that made me uncomfortable navigating to my bedroom. That is where I’m going to give credit to the effects. They use contacts to make people look creepy and the practical stuff with things that we assume are fake move worked as well. I’m also glad that they toned down things with the camera messing up digitally. I understand why it is used in movies, but it is overdone and annoys me now since it has been used so much. There was a bit of CGI here that didn’t really bother me. Really the only thing that did annoy me here was the television show using green screen which wasn’t that big of an issue.
To get into what doesn’t work is that television show we see. I understand why it is there and I like that it fills in things. What does work is syncing it up where we get information there, shift to the hotel and see how it correlates. What the real issue there was the acting. I wasn’t a big fan of Morales. The interactions on the show between Flutur, Tracy and Ingleman were all awkward, but not a way that feels natural for 3 people who don’t like each other. It just doesn’t come off as feeling real there and felt staged. Aside from that, everyone in the hotel I thought showed good fear so I will give credit there.
In conclusion, I think that this movie does do some things really well and others not so much in my opinion. I really like everything that we’re getting inside of the Abaddon Hotel. That was creepy and made me uncomfortable. The acting got my on nerves for the fake documentary show they’re doing, but everything when it comes to fear was good. This movie made me uncomfortable which was good. I do think the editing and pacing was well done. There is a bit of soundtrack here, but the footage is edited so I’m fine with that. I think this movie does well in building on to the mythology, which works for me. If you like found footage, I think this is a solid enough sequel and I come in with this as an above average movie overall.
My Rating: 7 out of 10