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Hell House (2002)

Aria Adloo , Ashley Adloo , George Ratliff  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Price: $49.89 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Aria Adloo, Ashley Adloo, Amy Allred, Gabriel Allred, Cherie Asbjornson
  • Directors: George Ratliff
  • Producers: George Ratliff, Devorah DeVries, Paige West, Selina Lewis Davidson, Tommy Pallotta
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Plexifilm
  • DVD Release Date: May 27, 2003
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000092T6A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,188 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hell House" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Hell Houses are a distinctly American phenomenon which began in 1990 just outside of Dallas, at the Trinity Assembly of God Church. The original Hell House was conceived as a modern-day fire-and-brimstone sermon. Today, this religious ceremony of sorts is replete with actors, extensive lighting equipment and full audio-visual tech crews. Inside the Hell House, tour guides dressed as demons take visitors from room to room to view depictions of school massacres, date rape, AIDS-related deaths, fatal drunk driving crashes, and botched abortions. Hell Houses have now spread to hundreds of churches worldwide. With full access to the behind-the-scenes action, HELL HOUSE follows the process from the first script meeting until the last of the 10,000 visitors passes through the Hell House doors. The movie gives a verite window into the whole process of creating this over-the-top sermon, while showing an intimate portrait of the people who fervently believe its message. The film also features a score by Bubba and Matthew Kadane, formerly of the band Bedhead.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Former Cast Member December 29, 2004
I spent ten years working various scenes at the Trinity Church Hellhouse. Yes, it is a bit campy, and yes, it is often over the top, but I can say that the people are well intentioned, just a bit off target. I attended Trinity Church from birth until I was 22 years old. I do not attend their anymore because of the close-minded attitude that is prevalant in this documentary. I stopped doing HellHouse when they added the decision room my last year. I just felt it was an un-biblical scare tactic. I now feel that way about the entire operation. The worst feeling I get is knowing the young teenagers are blindly following the leadership without doing any research themselves. I know because I was once one of them. I have found that a growing number of former Trinity Youth Group members my age do not attend there for the same reasons I listed above. This movie will open your eyes to the way teens are herded like cattle in fundamentalist Christian Churches.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignorance on Parade April 8, 2003
By A Customer
This is an admirably objective and well-made film, which chronicles the production of an evangelical Christian church's Halloween Hell House, an annual attraction that attempts to win souls for the church by trying to scare people with silly and misinformed portrayals of the horrors of secular life. In their attempt to construct an "occult" scene, church members actually paint a Star of David on the floor because they have no idea what a pentagram looks like, and they base their color scheme on the advice of a "warlock" who came to the Hell House some years before. No pagan or witch calls himself a warlock unless he's gotten all his information on the topic from watching "Charmed," which these churchgoers would know if they bothered to put any effort into research at all. Ignorance abounds here, from the cretinous portrayal of homosexuality as a result of childhood sexual abuse to the epic misrepresentation of the abortion pill RU-486. Throughout each revolting little playlet, the cardboard characters are taunted by a cackling Satan character who makes it sound like they deserve what they're getting and wouldn't be suffering if they'd had the correct beliefs. One gets the feeling that this church is pleased as punch to see them go to hell, and the Satan character conveys this with real glee. This kind of nastiness and cynicism has no place in a religion supposedly built on love. I was glad to see scenes of audience members giggling at all the hoary amateur dramatics, but the awful thing is that Hell Houses across the country do win converts through these showcases of bigotry and delusion. Maybe somebody should put on a Fundamentalism House. Now that would be scary.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turning the Good News into Bad News March 21, 2004
By A Customer
I grew up in an evangelical church where scare tactics and repeated warnings that Jesus' return was imminent were used to keep you on the straight and narrow path.
I thought the scene where the leader confronts a group of offended teenagers who obviously didn't appreciate that rather black and white portrayal of life, and made no bones about it. As much as I agree with a theology that places Jesus at the center of life, I found myself agreeing more with those that took offense than to the leadership of this church that doesn't seem to realize what the implications of what they're doing really are.
I wonder how the members of this group would feel if there was a similar house set up that portrayed the worst aspects of church life and scared people away from every coming to church. How about a room where a Sunday school teacher is found out for cheating on his wife, or an authoritarian pastor steamrolls over the life of one of his parishioners or misappropriates church funds? How about seeing the fallout that comes after one of these Pentecostal-type pastors intimates that he knows the date of the Second Coming? How about a room where a priest is buggering an altar boy? I wonder what the reaction to that would be?
I really wonder sometimes if God appreciates his calling card being offered in the guise of fearmongering and extremism. I can think of nothing better than people having God encounters; but I am thinking that if the impulse is fear and not love, then the encounter is dimmed if not tarnished altogether. My gut feeling is that people who get scared into the kingdom are spiritual parapalegics; yes, they are in the door but they are forced to get around in wheelchairs.
Jesus... save us from your followers...
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christian Extortion At It's Worst February 29, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating look at the evangelical world of black and white, good and evil. With no tolerance, or room for ambiguity in their thoughts, the "folks" at Trinity Church explain all the of life's complexities with one simple creed, it's the work of the devil. One simple-minded soul explains, "this is the worst the world has ever been." Apparently the poor dear has never heard of the plague, witch trials, or other tortured times when the religion ruled the world. I suppose they didn't teach those things at the Trinity school. The most frightening part of this documentary is when young children, after being subjected to scenes that relentlessly hammer them with violent images, are psychologically coerced into going through a door "where there are people waiting to pray with you", or re-enter the secular world and risk damnation. As a psychotherapist, (another thing that evangelicals believe are of the devil) I can now fully understand why the majority of my most impaired clients come from fundamentalist backgrounds. Allowing young children to go through a Hell House is nothing short of child abuse, and at the very least Christian extortion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars so-so
This presentation is a confusing portrayal. I can't tell if the film-maker loves or hates the concept. Read more
Published 5 months ago by TF Fixer
4.0 out of 5 stars Scare the hell out of people in Jesus' name
When I was a teenager I had an audio tape of evangelist and alleged exorcist Bob Larson visiting hell (or describing the experiences of somebody else who visited hell; I forget... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Randal Rauser
1.0 out of 5 stars Wish I Could Make it Zero Stars
When I requested this movie, I guess I assumed it was like "Jesus Camp," produced by an outside film-maker who was either neutral or actively critical of the Hell House program. Read more
Published on May 14, 2012 by Barbara Frederick
5.0 out of 5 stars Life in Hell
Hell House travels to Dallas to examine a Christian fundamentalist church that invites the public to pay $7 to tour an "exhibit" that depicts all of the horrors that await those... Read more
Published on January 18, 2010 by stoic
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting
It took me a long time to get around to purchasing this film, and I was so glad that I did. An undertaking that strikes me as simple-minded and alarming is presented in a... Read more
Published on December 30, 2009 by Movie Mom
4.0 out of 5 stars The Devil has entered the building
"Hell House" is a documentary showing the way that one Assemblies of God church in Texas chooses to teach morality -- by mounting a haunted house that literally shows the wages of... Read more
Published on November 24, 2009 by Jean E. Pouliot
3.0 out of 5 stars A good look at some very sick people
Hell House is put on by many churches by now. Supposedly, most of the attendees are bussed in from other churches, so they have an idea what to expect. Read more
Published on November 14, 2009 by Bette
3.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely terrifying
Just watched this last night. Quite enlightening, but not in the way the "Hell House" perpetrators intended. Read more
Published on October 28, 2009 by D. Chang
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Sure What to Say...
It's bad enough that anyone would re-create acts of violence and despair as a means to scare people toward religion, but to do it with such heedless aplomb--as the good 'ol folks... Read more
Published on August 1, 2009 by James S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Sure to drive secular nihilists nuts
This is the sort of documentary that will drive secular nihilists nuts - which is why I liked it so much. Read more
Published on July 8, 2009 by Ingalls
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