Found footage fans and Halloween haunt enthusiasts were graced with Hell House LLC, a found footage film and runaway hit covering the weeks leading up to the opening night of a haunted house attraction in upstate New York. Those who have seen the footage still writhe from the tragedy that unfolded on the night of October 8, 2009.
As often happens in the world of found footage films, invariably, more footage is recovered. We recently learned that yes, in fact, additional footage was unearthed from the tragedy that took place in the Abaddon Hotel on that now infamous evening—including restored scenes showing more of what actually took place in the basement!
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In the spirit of freedom of information, this footage will be released as a DVD to the public in October 2017. The title of this new version of the film is called none other than Hell House LLC: The Director’s Cut. But wait! The story does not end here. We also learned that a sequel to Hell House LLC is in production!
This news raises many questions. What will found footage fans find on the Director’s Cut DVD? And, what is the sequel about? To answer these questions and offer additional information, Found Footage Critic had an opportunity to interview Stephen Cognetti, the director of Hell House LLC.
Hell House Fallout.Despite police efforts to keep the Abaddon Hotel closed off to the public, a few people have managed to break in… Some of them brought cameras.
Posted by Hell House LLC on Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Hell House LLC: The Director’s Cut DVD
FFC (MS): Hell House LLC was a fun and entertaining film. Congratulations on your success. What compelled you to pursue a DVD release?
Stephen Cognetti: Thank you. We had so much extra content, more to the story than I was able to keep to a 90 minute final cut of the film. My first cut of the film came in at 97 minutes. I understand that for an indie horror film it’s got to be tightened up. But when you write and direct something you’re attached to every frame, it’s difficult to cut something out for time reasons. So a lot of scenes were either cut completely or cut short. I think fans of Hell House LLC will love these extra and extended scenes. A DVD gives us that opportunity to show the full script, every scene in full. Plus we added a lot more content that people will enjoy, like a look behind the scenes, outtakes, auditions it’s all on the DVD.
The Question Everyone Is Asking: What Happened in the Basement?
FFC (MS): Without giving away heavy spoilers for found footage fans who haven’t seen Hell House LLC, the pivotal scene in the film takes place in the basement of the haunt. We hear garbled audio of things that are happening, but what we see is very limited and highly chaotic.
Stephen Cognetti: Yes. The way the chaos in the basement was scripted had a lot more going on than what was included in the final cut of the film that everyone saw. We shot a lot of green screen with Lauren Kennedy (Melissa) with the hopes of showing more of what happened to everyone in the basement. It was going to be one scene where I was okay with departing from the subtleties we had throughout the second and third acts of the film. However, for many reasons including budget, the scene’s full scripted vision was never fully realized. We recently blew the dust off the original green screen footage and have since been working with an amazing visual effects artist to bring out some of the crazy shit that was going on in the basement. Not everything we had scripted but at least some. I don’t want to say any more about what goes on in the basement because a lot of what we couldn’t get to in Hell House LLC we’re going to do in the sequel.
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FFC (MS): Will the Hell House LLC: Director’s Cut DVD shed some light onto what happened amongst all the chaos in the basement?
Stephen Cognetti: With the help of the visual effects artist we’ve completed some of the CGI for the basement scene and added that to the extended cut of the film on the DVD. However, our fans shouldn’t purchase the DVD just for the basement scene. The real value is the deleted scenes and behind the scenes peek, which includes outtakes and other fun stuff, including the original cast auditions. As a package and collector’s item, I feel that this is something our fans will really appreciate.
Hell House Fallout.Despite police efforts to keep the Abaddon Hotel closed off to the public, a few people have managed to break in… Some of them brought cameras.What is disturbing about this particular amateur video is that if you listen closely, a voice can be heard, and some say it is the voice of Sara Havel.
Posted by Hell House LLC on Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Halloween Treat: Hell House LLC will Re-open Its Doors in 2018
FFC (MS): Did you always have a sequel in mind for Hell House LLC?
Stephen Cognetti: I want to preface my answer by saying up front that I know found footage sequels often get eye-rolls from a lot of horror fans. That said, I’ve been teasing the idea on our Facebook page with mini videos talking about the Hell House LLC fallout. Here’s how this played out.
Starting back in 2011, I wrote the first draft of Hell House LLC that had a lot more history about the Abaddon Hotel, the town, etc. Because we shot the film as found footage, doc-horror style, a lot of that narrative had to be taken out. I had the full story fleshed out in my mind back in 2011, but the found footage approach we took prevented me from telling everything in one film. I said to myself years ago that I hope that I’ll have the opportunity to tell more of the story.
FFC (MS): Can you tell Hell House LLC fans about the upcoming sequel?
Stephen Cognetti: What happened to Alex and the crew of Hell House is just one piece of something greater that is building under the surface, but it’s all connected. This connection is something I was never able to get into in the first film. Why was Alex at the Abaddon Hotel in the first place? What is it about the Abaddon Hotel and its history that made it fatal for Hell House? These events were put into motion long before Hell House was even a company and expand well past the events of October 8th, 2009—Hell House’s opening night. The sequel is what I hope to be the middle chapter of the Abaddon Hotel story, chapter one being the demise of Hell House.
FFC (MS): When you say the sequel is the “middle chapter,” are you implying a trilogy?
Stephen Cognetti: Yes. Telling the full story would take three films. The sequel will be called Hell House LLC 2: The Abaddon Hotel. The third film will be called Hell House LLC 3: Lake of Fire. Whether or not we’ll get to the third film will depend on how well the sequel goes.
Buy a DVD and Support the Sequel
FFC (MS): When will you begin production of the sequel?
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Stephen Cognetti: We’ve already started a lot for the pre-production work but honestly we’re hoping the DVD sales help fund some of the post production costs. Funding is always an issue on the indie level. But if all goes well I’m hoping to film in early fall and have the film ready to go sometime in the spring of 2018. The script is terrifying and I’m very excited to shoot it.
Hell House fallout. Authorities beg the public to stay out of the hotel.
Posted by Hell House LLC on Thursday, July 13, 2017