6.9/10
1,414
34 user 32 critic

Hell House (2001)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 10 March 2002 (USA)
A look at the "Hell House" performed annually in October by the youth members of Trinity Church (Assemblies of God) in Cedar Hill, Texas (a Dallas suburb) - seen by over 10,000 visitors ... See full summary »

Director:

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An urban mystery unfurls as one man pieces together the surreal meaning of hundreds of cryptic tiled messages that have been appearing in city streets across the U.S. and South America.

Director: Jon Foy
Stars: Justin Duerr, Marc Duerr, Kevin Riley
The Institute I (2013)
Documentary | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A documentary on the Jejune Institute, a mind-bending San Francisco phenomenon where 10,000 people became "inducted" without ever quite realizing what they'd signed up for.

Director: Spencer McCall
Stars: Arye Bender, Boston Blake, Jeff Hull
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Featuring never-before-seen footage, this documentary delivers a startling new look at the Peoples Temple, headed by preacher Jim Jones who, in 1978, led more than 900 members to Guyana, where he orchestrated a mass suicide via tainted punch.

Director: Stanley Nelson
Stars: Rebecca Moore, Janet Shular, Tim Carter
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Stone Phillips presents never-before-seen footage from his "Dateline NBC" interview with serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer recorded in 1994.

Stars: Jeffrey Dahmer, Lionel Dahmer, Shari Jordan
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

"The Six Degrees of Helter Skelter" walks in the footsteps of the Manson Family, visiting over 40 locations related to the infamous Tate/LaBianca murders, and tying together the dozens of ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Dorsey
Stars: Ron Hale, Craig Harvey, Nikki Medlin
Documentary | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A filmmaker sets out to discover the life of Joyce Vincent, who died in her bedsit in North London in 2003. Her body wasn't discovered for three years, and newspaper reports offered few details of her life - not even a photograph.

Director: Carol Morley
Stars: Zawe Ashton, Alix Luka-Cain, Alistair Abrahams
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A profile of homeless Romanian children who were born victims of the nation's reckless population growth policy during its communist era.

Director: Edet Belzberg
Stars: Cristina Ionescu, Mihai Alexandre Tudose, Violeta 'Macarena' Rosu
The Cheshire Murders (TV Movie 2013)
Documentary | Crime | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the quiet suburb of Cheshire, Connecticut, Jennifer Petit and her two young daughters were killed in a horrific home invasion; husband and father William Petit was the only one who ... See full summary »

Directors: Kate Davis, David Heilbroner
Stars: Marilyn Bartoli, Deb Biggins, Michael Daluz
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Amish teenagers experience and embrace the modern world as a rite-of-passage before deciding which life they will choose.

Director: Lucy Walker
Stars: Velda Bontrager, Mark Bontrager, Dewayne Chupp
Cropsey (2009)
Documentary | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Realizing the urban legend of their youth has actually come true; two filmmakers delve into the mystery surrounding five missing children and the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances.

Directors: Barbara Brancaccio, Joshua Zeman
Stars: Joshua Zeman, Barbara Brancaccio, Bill Ellis
Child of Rage (TV Short 1990)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This documentary tells the story of a six year old girl, Beth Thomas, labeled as "The Child Of Rage," tells her story of healing from Reactive Attachment Disorder as a result of being ... See full summary »

Stars: Joel Craiger, Ken Magid, Beth Thomas
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Aria Adloo ...
Herself
Ashley Adloo ...
Herself
Amy Allred ...
Herself
Gabriel Allred ...
Himself
Cherie Asbjornson ...
Herself
Brett Bedard ...
Himself
Tim Ferguson ...
Himself
Ben Hennesy ...
Himself
Jim Hennesy ...
Himself - Trinity Church pastor
Kristen Hennesy ...
Herself
Mark Hennesy ...
Himself
Rosanna Hennesy ...
Herself
Ryan Hennesy ...
Himself
J.R. Hernandez ...
Himself
Jennifer Hillman ...
Herself
Edit

Storyline

A look at the "Hell House" performed annually in October by the youth members of Trinity Church (Assemblies of God) in Cedar Hill, Texas (a Dallas suburb) - seen by over 10,000 visitors each year. We see the organization and planning of the event - including auditions, construction, scripting and rehearsals - largely through the involvement of one family: a single father with 4 children (one of whom suffers from cerebral palsy) including his daughter, a cast member. Written by scgary66

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This church wants to scare the Hell out of you.

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 March 2002 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Interviewee: The world is the worst that it has ever been. It's an ugly, evil world and that's a scary thing, but at the same time, it's a good thing because that means that Jesus is close to coming, and he's about to come back for his bride.
See more »

Connections

References Hackers (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Arise Oh Lord
Written by Kelly Carpenter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Fascinating documentary
4 January 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Hell House director George Ratliff doesn't have to try hard to show the bizarre side of the Trinity Church in Cedar Hill, Texas and their annual Halloween sideshow. Rather than any reasoned attempt to invite converts to Christianity, this is old style 'fire and brimstone' scare tactics straight out of the Old Testament and reminded me of a modern day Chick tract. The topics are somewhat predictable, ranging from abortion, homosexuality and suicide right through to the alleged evils of Harry Potter and role playing games. The horror show is complete with high pressure sales tactics at the end to convert and accept Jesus. Disturbingly, the emotional intensity of the show is quite effective, especially on the younger teenagers in the audience who appear somewhat shell shocked as they are given a last chance to repent.

Pastor Jim Hennesy opens the documentary and is probably the most disturbing character shown, with his authoritarian nature and expressionless stare. His church group is clearly a cult, complete with hysterical followers weeping, swaying in trances and speaking in tongues. Every single character that comes onto the screen has a downbeat story, from the single father struggling with four children to assorted rape victims and even an amateur wrestler.

In parts, the documentary becomes unintentionally hilarious, with a six sided 'pentagram' (actually the Jewish Star of David), a DJ who can't remember the name of the date rape drug he is supposed to be warning people about and a Christian teenager showing an inexplicable fascination in playing an imagined 'victim' of the morning after pill.

Overall Hell House is more an illuminating insight into the bizarre beliefs of this Pentecostal church than any cutting edge social commentary, but somehow it works. Ratliff's direction is neutral, and he merely observes the goings on rather than actively staking out a position. With a cast of characters this odd, nothing else is needed. The only signs of independent thought in the film was a small group of irate teens who gave one of the pastors their direct opinion on the Hell House.

A interesting footnote only mentioned briefly in the documentary. With 12,000 visitors at $7 a head, plus a concession stand, and all with volunteer labor. I guess what the Trinity Church doesn't make in converted souls, they reap in cash.

7/10


20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Occult Scene joss_minion
Ironic Line thaleb
Any other recommendations? kari724
more irony timallewayontheinternet
Where can I watch it? anonymous877
Using real guns? SadakoGirl
Discuss Hell House (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page