Hell House
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There's hardly a community in America does doesn't offer some sort of a spook show or haunted house for kids during the Hallowe'en season, but the Hell House, sponsored by the Trinity Assembly of God Church in Dallas, TX, is something a bit different -- rather than scaring kids with folks dressed up as ghosts of vampires, the Hell House offers bizarre performance pieces in which youngsters are offered a glimpse of the fates church elders believe will await them if they stray from the path of a strict Christian life. The skits include tales of a gay man dying of AIDS-related… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Frightening, well-done documentary."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"The Trinity Assembly approaches the endeavor with a shocking lack of irony, and George Ratliff's documentary, Hell House, reflects their earnestness - which makes for a terrifying film."
‑ Dan Fienberg, L.A. Weekly
"Even if you do not agree with the message that the Hell House haunt is purveying, you will find the Hell House documentary fascinating."
‑ Steve Biodrowski, ESplatter
"The whole thing's like a Jack Chick comic tract come to life, and it would be easy to condescend to, but director George Ratliff has not done so."
‑ Luke Y. Thompson, New Times
"By focusing on the basic decency of these people [Ratliffe] exquisitely captures the irony of a community at odds with its god's message of unconditional love."
‑ Andrea Chase, Killer Movie Reviews
"As a director, Mr. Ratliff wisely rejects the temptation to make fun of his subjects."
‑ Dave Kehr, New York Times
"Texan director George Ratliff had unlimited access to families and church meetings, and he delivers fascinating psychological fare."
‑ Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune
"The tour of the house itself is a surreal mix of cheap gore and religious zeal. It's a penetrating look into life in rural Texas, and a thoroughly enjoyable, disturbing, and darkly-funny film to watch."
‑ Jason Gorber, Film Scouts
"Perhaps it is as Albert Einstein said, 'Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish.'"
‑ Keith Uhlich, ToxicUniverse.com
"It's up to you to decide whether to admire these people's dedication to their cause or be repelled by their dogmatism, manipulativeness and narrow, fearful view of American life."
‑ Joshua Tanzer, Offoffoff
"Lookin' for sin, American-style? Try Hell House, which documents the cautionary Christian spook-a-rama of the same name."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"Lazy filmmaking, with the director taking a hands-off approach when he should have shaped the story to show us why it's compelling."
‑ Mary Brennan, Seattle Times
"I encourage everyone to watch it and discuss the difference between Christ's ministry and the 'ministry' of these high-pressure gospel salesmen."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"It is a strength of a documentary to disregard available bias, especially as temptingly easy as it would have been with this premise."
‑ Rumsey Taylor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"A tad controversial, Hell House doesn't exist to cast stones, but rather document their hurlers."
‑ Ryan Cracknell, Film Threat
More reviews for Hell House on Rotten Tomatoes