Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hell House

Hell House is a documentary by George Ratliff that shows the scare tactics used by a Texas Pentecostal church's haunted house.  The thing that most intrigued me about this film, was the presentation of the information.  Everything was filmed in the perspective of the Trinity Church members and haunted house workers.  Ratliff did not go out of his way to film anything that showed the haunted house as good or bad.  Instead, he captured the actions and thoughts of those involved in the presentation of what will happen if God is not welcome in your life.  It was very eye opening to see how the "actors" made fun of and joked around during rehearsals.  It was almost upsetting to see them go from portraying a rape victim committing suicide, and then switch to laughing about it, as if it was a joke.  It seems that all of the members taking part in the haunted house don't quite take the subject matter seriously when they are not acting.  It makes the viewer (or at least made me) feel as though they are unaware of how terrible the things they are portraying really are to people who have to go through it.
The only time the viewer is shown a point of view opposite of that of the church is when a group of teenagers goes through and states how they were offended by the scene where the man with AIDS dies.  They are automatically pulled into an argument with a very religious man, and the police officer who works with the church comes out to intervene, and tries to convince the teens that with God, the things that they witnessed will not happen.  It was shocking to see how blind the Trinity Church members seem to be to other points of view.

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