Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel delivers more scares while building the mythos of a franchise.
Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon is a supernatural occult found footage horror film and the sequel to Hell House LLC (2015). The original film conjured up a lot of freaky scares and a terrifying creepy atmosphere that was disguised as a mockumentary/found footage. It was an excellently executed horror with great structure and buildup, believable characters and very simple but effective scares.
But the story didn’t end with the haunted house attraction going wrong and the crew of five going missing. Now it continues to lure people inside to gather and collect their souls. The mythos is expanded while with a new crew we explore the house to experience more and terrible frights.
The lore continues with the tv show ‘Morning Mysteries’ that discusses the documentary made by Mitchell Cavanaugh after in 2009 the Hell House attraction went terribly wrong. The crew of five people went missing and a few people were wounded or killed during a panic. Something is terribly wrong with the hotel. Mitchell is convinced of that after he and journalist Diana went to the hotel to investigate that incident after Sarah suddenly contacted them, who was supposedly missing too.
Two other guests are there, Arnold Tasselman who acts on behalf of the Rockland county magistrate and Brock Davies acts as the medium and psychic. During the show they get a phone call from Jessica Fox who is a journalist blogger and founder of ‘The Insider’ who with her editor Molly has put a senator behind bars. Now she has new proof of the hauntings in the Abaddon and wants to go in and asks Mitchell to come with. He knows his way around the maze-like building with its hallways and corridors and dozens of doors and stairs. Brock also wants in for his own show.
So in October Jessica, Molly, Mitchell and cameraman David set out to the Abaddon to unravel its secrets that must lie in the basement. Brock also shows up with his cameraman and the six of them enter the Abaddon…
Why you should watch it
It is so much fun! If you like scary found footage with great jumps scares, creepy props and if you liked the original film, then you certainly must watch this sequel.
Just like the first film it has a great structure and buildup and brilliant editing. It starts out with a found footage of a young adult who went to the Abaddon as the youths tends to do in the town of Abaddon to prove they’re not scared, to see some ghosts or just on a dare. Then it switches to the tv show ‘Morning Mysteries’, while we also see some footage of Jessica and Molly planning to go into the Abaddon. Other found footage films of lost young adults are shown in the meantime, to build the lore about the hotel.
But when the whole crew is put together and they go into the hotel, then the real fun is about to start. Expect a lot of scares, the creepy corridors and stairwells, all the doors. It’s all very familiar. Even some props are still there, as is the hallway with the blacklight. And of course our three favorite scary creepy clown mannequins. New scares are added too, which gives it some new fresh creepy impulse.
The buildup however doesn’t evolve around a group of friends putting together a haunted house, but it’s in the way their story and some other stories of missing persons and the tv show and the expedition into the house are mixed together that serves as a great buildup. The editing and timing of the scares are key and excellently done. It really adds to the creepy vibe and causes great tension and fun scares. The camera is pleasantly steady and the sound effects are great, of course with the usual distorted visuals and sounds.
Once they are in the hotel, it’s full on horror time. The buildup is done beforehand and we can dive right into the scares and frights. The running and panicking is more paramount than in the original film. In the original film the buildup created a terrifying atmosphere where nothing much happened, but when it did it was subtle and really creepy. Now the hotel is much more proactive in scaring them and us.
It’s a great follow-up to the original, connecting the former crew and events with what’s happening now, creating a new haunted house universe. But it is anything but a do-over. It’s new and fresh and sometimes it even feels like they parodied the first film, with the tv show, and the addition of Brock in a fun way. By not taking it all too seriously, it’s all the more fun and entertaining to watch and a great way to be scared with escapism.
The end wasn’t the big climax like the first film, but was all about explaining and expanding the lore of the hauntings. That reduces the creepiness of the whole film and story, but it is an understandable necessity to move the franchise forward. You can’t keep showing the same scares and creepy atmosphere without expanding the mythos behind it to create a franchise. Then it would be a repetition upon repetition. Although some might feel that the ending was a bit of a letdown, it is a very effectively scary film overall that is highly entertaining and delivers a very fun scary watch.
My favorite part
The clowns are back! They were my favorite during the first film and now they bring even more havoc and we actually see the creepy one moving. Strangely enough that’s less scary, but all the more fun. The creepy woman was a great addition to bring in some new scares and she scared me real good the first time. I love it when that happens.
The editing was great as was the excellent cast. They were very believable and a diverse group and it was a good choice to bring in overconfident dandy medium Brock to stir things up a bit.
Thrill factor: ★★★☆☆
Scare factor: ★★★★☆
Entertainment factor: ★★★★★
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Cast and crew
Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel is directed and written by Stephen Cognetti. It stars Jillian Geurts (Jessica Fox), Vasile Flutur (Mitchell Cavanaugh), Joy Shatz (Molly Reynolds), Dustin Austen (David Morris), Kyle Ingleman (Brock Davies), Brian David Tracy (Arnold Tasselman) and Amanda K. Morales (Suzy McCombs).
Duration: 89 minutes. Cinematography: Joe Schufreider. Produced by: Joe Bandelli.