Y’know what? I’m not gonna lie. I had a pretty good time with the first film, Hell House LLC, so I figured I would dive into the sequels – I mean it’s the same writer/director through all of them, so we know that no matter how they play out, this is Cognetti’s story the whole way through.
And you know what, I had a fun time with this one too.
But some of the acting is truly horrid. I’m not going to call anyone specifically out, because no matter what I think about their abilities (or lack thereof) they are out there doing, and I’m just sitting here writing about it.
I have a real issue that so many people seem to keep finding their way into this hotel with cameras (though apparently, we learn, that is the hotel at work, making things happen), but hey, how else are we going to get the story?
This time around we meet the cameraman who did all the work in the first film, putting things together as a documentary. That would be Mitchell (Vasile Flutur). He’s giving interviews now, and warning people away from the hotel, but another investigative group, led by Jess (Jillian Guerts), who has been receiving anonymous messages and information about the Abaddon.
And, of course, like any good journalist, she’s determined to get in there and discover the truth of what happened, though she’s not ready to subscribe to any supernatural beliefs.
That belief doesn’t hold for long once they enter the hotel, as it doesn’t take long for things to go sideways, and who will survive to tell the tale? Perhaps just the camera’s objective eye.
I like how Cognetti expands on the mythology created in the first film, building on it, even adding new, if thin, layers to the characters from the first film, and giving us a new insight to it. Sure some of the shots telegraph what is going to happen by their use of negative space, but it’s still very cool to see how things play out.
And considering the budget, Cognetti and his team pull off an entertaining found footage flick, even if, as a whole, it doesn’t bring anything really new to the table. I do like his use of the location, and making the most of what he’s got, and how simple things can be made really creepy.
There’s a painting of a little girl in one of the hallways that seems destined to do something freaky at some point, but it hasn’t as of yet. Perhaps in the third film?
Which, by the way, Cognetti seems to lay some serious groundwork for in this entry by talking about someone we haven’t met yet, and how he’s been receiving any and all footage relating to the Abaddon and putting it all together.
So is it a great film? No. but is it a perfectly serviceable and enjoyable found footage haunted house film? Hell yes.