Director and writer Stephen Cognetti returns with another Hell House LLC addition, Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor. This film, which has been billed as being part of the universe, doesn’t take place at the Abaddon Hotel but has plenty of connections to it.
Set in 2021 at the Carmichael Manor, the story takes you through the origins of what happened at the Abaddon Hotel in Hell House LLC, Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel, and Hell House LLC III: The Lake of Fire.
The Hell House films are such great found footage films, and after seeing Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor, Cognetti’s films should be crowned the standard for found footage from now on. Mixed with terrifying angles and cuts from Cognetti and Cinematographer Josh Layton, this film keeps you on your toes with every second that passes. Where there should be some jump scares that you’re anticipating there are none, with scares and surprises where you least expect it. It’s easily the most terrifying of all the Hell House films.
There are quite a few Easter eggs from the original Hell House films that make it easy to tie into the story but also stand on its own two feet in a new setting. I do think that it might be a little hard to follow along if you haven’t seen the other films, but Cognetti does a great job of trying to bridge the stories together for the audience. We get quite a bit of backstory, especially on those eerie clowns, as well as an expansion on the Hell House song that’s played through the previous films. There are also other items that you can spot, especially when two of the characters go to the antique store, that will make fans of the Hell House films point at their screen. One of the differences in this one is it does include a few sound effects, but I think that works against the film and seems oddly placed. The scares are doubled in this film, but done so in a way that makes sense and moves the plot along.
There’s definitely more room to continue the Hell House LLC legacy, and Cognetti proves that with a scene after the end credits. Overall, Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor is a terrifyingly great addition to the Hell House legacy, and brings you back to why you loved the franchise in the first place.
Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor premieres on Shudder on October 30.