Hell House

This church wants to scare the hell out of you.

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.

Watch it here:

Project Info
Director George Ratliff
Producer Zachary Mortensen
Producer Selina Lewis Davidson
Producer George Ratliff
Golden Gate Award, SF FIlm Fest Best Documentary
Select Film Festivals
Toronto Film Festival World Premiere
SXSW Film Festival