Shudder’s ‘Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor’ is a found-footage horror movie from director Stephen Cognetti. The fourth installment in ‘Hell House LLC‘ franchise follows the amateur paranormal investigator Margot Bentley. In the movie, Margot tries to solve the cold case of the Carmichael family’s gruesome murders, which took place in their own mansion nearly two decades ago. However, when Margot decides to spend five days at the supposedly haunted mansion, she discovers terrifying secrets. Since the Carmichael family’s murders are a crucial plot point and are presented in the form of archival footage, viewers may be tricked into thinking they took place in reality. Is that really the case? Is ‘Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor’ based on real events? Let’s find out!
The Inspiration Behind Hell House LLC Origins
No, ‘Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor’ is not based on a true story. The film is the fourth installment in the ‘Hell House LLC’ franchise. The first installment was written and directed by Stephen Cognetti and released in 2016. It was followed by two further sequels, also directed by Cognetti. The franchise primarily revolves around a haunted attraction where things go wrong for visitors. It draws most of its horror from occultists and cultists obsessed with opening a portal to hell. The first three installments primarily revolve around the fictional Abaddon Hotel in Rockland County, New York. However, the fourth installment takes place in the titular Carmichael Manor, which is also a fictional place.
The fourth film is a sequel to the events of ‘Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire,’ while also providing an origin story to the franchise’s mainstay elements. In an interview, director Stephen Cognetti revealed that he came up with the story for a prequel to the events of the original trilogy in 2019 while working on the franchise’s third installment. Cognetti revealed that he wanted to explore the cult at the Abaddon Hotel in greater depth while giving more screentime to the clown, a secondary antagonist in the movie. As a result, Cognetti devised the character of Patrick Carmichael, who is connected to the Satanic cult at the Abaddon Hotel. Cognetti also included the found-footage aspect from the previous movies to continue the storytelling aesthetic that gives the franchise a sense of realism.
Are the Carmichael Family Murders Based on Real Events?
‘Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor’ revolves around the mysterious murder of the Carmichael family, who reside at the Carmichael Manor. The murders go unsolved for decades, leading to protagonist Margot Bentley arriving at the mansion to solve the cold case. The premise bears some resemblance to real life: Borden family murders in Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1892 and the Moore family murders in Villisca, Iowa, in 1912. The Carmichael family murders are similarly chilling in their own right but are not directly based on any real events. The Carmichael family is entirely fictional and serves as a link between the lore of the Abaddon Hotel from the previous movies and the character of Patrick Carmichael, who is an important character in the fourth installment.
In an interview, director Stephen Cognetti cited author Stephen King’s works as an inspiration behind the movie and the franchise as a whole. Cognetti also named the series ‘Lost‘ as an inspiration while crafting the intricate and deep lore of the ‘Hell House LLC’ franchise. Since Cognetti’s inspirations are mostly works of fiction, it is evident that the Carmichael family massacre is not based on real events. Furthermore, there is also no evidence of an event similar to the Carmichael family murders in Rockland County, New York, where the story takes place. Likewise, Carmichael Manor, where the killings occur, is also not a real place. A real mansion in Scranton, Pennsylvania, serves as the fictional Carmichael Manor in the movie. Ultimately, the Carmichael family murders are not based on a real event. They are a part of the larger fictional story that furthers the overall mythology and lore of the ‘Hell House LLC’ horror franchise.
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