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Holy Hell
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Holy Hell

Description
Filmmaker Will Allen documents the time he spent with the Buddhafield, a Los Angeles spiritual group to give us an inside look at the West Hollywood cult formed by a charismatic teacher in the 1980s that eventually imploded.
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Movie Mezzanine
Resource

July 12, 2016

Allen's gentle compassion for his fellow cult survivors is understandable, but is ultimately unsatisfying. Still, for fans of cult documentaries, Holy Hell is worth it for its insider footage alone.
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The Young Folks
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June 05, 2016

The foundation is there for a good documentary to happen, but the fact that amateurish filmmaking got in the way of the story really does a major disservice to the overall story.
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Variety
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May 27, 2016

Like watching a takedown of Hitler by a disillusioned Leni Reifenstahl, what emerges is one of the decade's strangest and most unsettling documentaries, especially given its as-yet-unwritten ending.
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Guardian
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May 27, 2016

An uneven blend of news program, suspense narrative and toward the end, somewhat saccharine self-help exercise.
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TheWrap
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May 26, 2016

Does a sub-par job probing the psyches of both Buddhafield's leader and its members.
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The Playlist
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May 28, 2016

With unprecedented access to archival footage and former members of The Buddhafield, it's impossible to look away from Holy Hell.
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Georgia Straight
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July 13, 2016

Even with admitted self-censorship, this intimate and often fascinating footage reveals a megalomaniac who genuinely inspired his early disciples.
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New York Times
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May 26, 2016

Mr. Allen has made an engrossing and tense documentary, though his insider knowledge is sometimes a hindrance.
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Paste Magazine
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June 09, 2016

What begins as a video memoir evolves into a much larger portrait of betrayal, grief and healing.
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RogerEbert.com
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May 28, 2016

"Holy Hell" should have dug a lot deeper and told its story with a lot more finesse. What happened? Maybe, after all these years, Allen was still too close to his subject?
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One Guy's Opinion
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June 01, 2016

Tries to get across the ambiance of a community under the sway of a weirdly magnetic figure, but inevitably it comes up short; nonetheless the taste that it provides is chilling.
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