Looking for cheap thrills on Halloween is all tricks and treats…until someone gets killed. That’s what kids learn in this trio of flicks I streamed in June because I just needed a dose of the holiday season.
6 DEGREES OF HELL (2012)
I love my Halloween haunted attraction movies, but although this one is described as such in places (probably to draw in suckers like me), and even though director and star (and cutie) Joe Raffa (left below) appeared in Halloween haunted attraction film Hallow’s Eve, 6 Degrees of Hell is not particularly a Halloween film. It is most definitely about a haunted attraction though.
Here’s the issue you’ll have to get past in order to enjoy the wickedly entertaining final massacre in the haunted attraction. The plot of 6 Degrees of Hell is all over the place. The first thing it easily have done without is having Cory Feldman as a psychic investigator interrogating a cop about what happened at the haunted attraction.
In other words, the film itself is a flashback as told by the cop. However, it’s more than that. There are flashbacks within flashbacks about various characters, but we’re never quite made aware of any of the timelines or how they all connect. The main group of friends is tied together by their work on the haunted attraction and the death of one guy’s sister a year before. There’s also a psychic who lent some of her haunted items to them for the attraction and a ghost hunting crew that wants to film at the attraction. And everyone has a paranormal backstory. HEADACHE.
But damn the guys are cute. I found it particularly sexy whenever the studly police chief spat anti-gay slurs at Raffa’s character. They seriously need to make a whole different kind of cop and delinquent movie together.
Although the jumping timeline is confusing, I really liked the playful, late 90s slasher vibe of the film, and the characters were oddly likeable. And when the horror hits, it hits hard.
There’s a gruesome flashback/vision of what happened to the dead sister that clashes with the lighter tone of the rest of the film, but then the horror gets fun when two of the guys decide to go dig up the sister’s grave to make sure she’s still there.
This scene hits a bit too late in the film, because it’s the moment we’ve been waiting for…demonic killer madness!
There’s possession, walking corpses, and ghoulish antics inside the haunted attraction as the workers become possessed killing machines and the ticket holders become part of the show! Sadly, it’s over in a flash.
In a sense, 6 Degrees of Hell is like actually going to a haunted attraction. You spend a majority of the time waiting around for the fun to begin, talking to your friends on line about totally random, unrelated shit you won’t even remember tomorrow, you’re finally let in for a wild ride of monster madness, and within minutes it’s over and you’re like, “That’s it? The good stuff was just getting started!”
ABANDONED MINE (aka: The Mine) (2012)
The first ten minutes or so of this film are loaded with Halloween atmosphere. The main guy playfully taunts trick or treaters as he drives down the street.
He stops at a store covered in Halloween décor to pick up his girlfriend. There’s a montage of girls getting dressed in costumes for a party. There’s even an awesome killer in a mask…that turns out to be a prank.
Then…the kids spend Halloween night in a supposedly haunted old mine. They recount an old legend about miners raping a family and entombing them down there. They find signs of life down there. They get stuck down there. They get attacked by bats. See a spider. Have close calls with death. Talk about whether or not they believe in ghosts.
FINALLY, kids start dying, but it’s always far off. Eventually, a couple of them turn up dead and the others run around the tunnels screaming. Although it’s not a found footage film, the POV and bouncing flashlights often mimic the style.
Finally, the only real entertaining part of the film: the twist. But honestly, if you’ve seen the film Catacombs, you’ve seen a much more frightening film leading up to the same twist.
HELL HOUSE LLC (2015)
Structured somewhat like a documentary about an inexplicable catastrophe at a Halloween haunted attraction, Hell House LLC shifts to found footage format after the initial background is presented (very The Blair Witch Project).
The film isn’t actually about what happened on opening night when all the visitors of the attraction fled screaming in terror. It’s about the freaky shit that went on while the group of haunters was crashing at the location in which they were setting up the attraction beforehand: an old hotel.
This movie is intense as hell. Initially, the workers are terrorized by a damn freaky clown figure that seems to keep moving around on its own. Naturally, they at first keep blaming each other for playing pranks.
But weird incidents begin to build and more and more of the props seem to be coming to life and moving on their own. It is absolutely unnerving. The strobe light scene alone will mess you up…
Now for the problem. It becomes so fucking terrifying that it is inexcusable that these kids continue to stay at this place and continue to blame it on pranks and continue to run around in the dark with just flashlights looking for pranksters after every terrifying incident. ARGH.
But the absolute most offending moment for the sake of a good cheap scare has to be when one dude wakes up to see a possessed girl just sitting on the floor across the room, and pulls his fricking blanket over his head for some cheap Darkness Falls scares. SERIOUSLY. A grown man pulls a blanket over his head instead of, I don’t know, maybe throwing the blanket over her fucking head and running out of the room???
We do finally get to see what happened the night of the grand opening incident, but don’t expect it to answer any questions as to why it happened. And the movie doesn’t end there, as the chick making the documentary about the incident feels the need to sneak into the old hotel with her cameraman, delivering one last found footage scare that also doesn’t explain anything…