An engrossing and tense documentary.
Will Allen’s sunny gut-punch cult exposé HOLY HELL plays like a thriller, all right, with a darkness edging slowly over its swimsuit revelry, but Allen never cheats in the interest of suspense.
Perhaps most gratifying is the film’s tempered, mature optimism – it is neither cloying nor dour, the two most common tonalities in contemporary nonfiction film.
HOLY HELL is never less than enthralling.
HOLY HELL is perhaps the fullest, most human view we’ve ever had of life inside a new religious movement — and the ever-complicated business of getting out of one.
The film stitched out of that footage is one of the most intimate and emotionally involving examinations of how easily a seemingly benign spiritual movement can shift into a damaging, destructive cult. It also may be one of the most L.A. stories ever told.
An unprecedented close-up look...we watch with bated breath as the mask is slowly pulled off.
Unique, captivating...never before has a cult documentary contained so much footage of its inner workings.
Acts as both an extreme cautionary tale and a personal exorcism.