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‘Hell House’ returns to Waldorf for 3rd film

Katie Delbertis, a Kunkletown firefighter, will be among a crowd of horror movie enthusiasts who hope to get cast as an extra during today’s filming at Waldorf Estate of Fear.

“I just love everything to do with horror and the makeup of acting,” said Delbertis, who scared crowds at Dorney Park and Reaper’s Revenge last Halloween season.

“Hell House LLC 3 — Lake of Fire” began filming on Wednesday and continues through May 12.

“This is the third installment of ‘Hell House’ filmed here. Ninety percent of the movie takes place inside Waldorf,” said Angela Moyer, owner of Waldorf Estate of Fear.

Waldorf is known as the Abaddon Hotel in the film.

Seventy-five to 100 extras are needed as people coming to see billionaire Russell Wynn’s popular interactive show called Insomnia, she said.

Today’s filming is from noon to 9 p.m.

Since filming occurs inside, there will be no spectators and it will not impact business at Country Junction next door, she said.

The Hell House LLC franchise centers on a haunted hotel in upstate New York.

In the third installment tech billionaire Russell Wynn buys the hotel to hold an interactive play.

Wynn “invites journalist Venessa Sheppard and her crew to record everything happening inside the hotel leading up to the performance, but they soon encounter a more nefarious plot, one that threatens to unleash a veritable hell on earth,” according to a plot description on bloodydisgusting.com.

In the third installment of Hell House, guests at the hotel “will be forced to battle for their souls as all is revealed about the Abaddon Hotel and the evil that dwells there.”

Joe Bandelli, who has produced all three Hell House LLC films, said one of the best parts about filming in a small town is the support that they get in the form of extras and background help.

Having a large number of extras adds to the production value of the film.

“Certain sequences we did in the first film that we maybe did for a few hundred bucks, where if we were shooting them in New York, it would have cost a few hundred thousand dollars,” Bandelli said.

Bandelli and director Steven Cognetti have been working together for more than five years and have learned how to make films with a limited budget. Bandelli said in some cases, limited funding becomes an opportunity for them to be more creative.

“Not having the money that a blockbuster feature has, we have to be as creative as possible, and sometimes it comes up with some really cool sequences for us,” Bandelli said.

When the crew started production on the first film they needed a haunted house but the budget wouldn’t allow them to make their own. They found the Waldorf, and it turned out that Moyer and her team were a perfect fit for the movie.

“We always say it feels like we’re working with people form New York or LA,” Bandelli said of Moyer and her staff. “They’re people who understand the industry, they’re go-getters, that’s the best part by far.”

A lot of work goes in behind the scenes. The team is making a feature film in about 10 days, which is much shorter than a Hollywood production — so planning takes months.

Independent filmmakers aren’t in it for the money. For Bandelli and Cognetti, it’s all about being creative, and a love for horror films.

“We’re both horror fans, we’re both filmmakers. We both want to make something creative and put something out into the world that’s enjoyable for people to kind of escape and get away from their day to day and enjoy some cinema,” Bandelli said.

Later this year, the movie will be shown exclusively on Shudder, AMC Network’s streaming service devoted to horror, thriller and supernatural films.

Waldorf Estate of Fear is located at 6325 Interchange Road, Lehighton.

Times News writer Chris Reber contributed to this story.

About 100 extras from the area took part in the filming of Hell House LLC back in 2014. Extras are wanted to film the third installment in the series today. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
The Waldorf Estate of Fear is reprising its role as a haunted hotel in the third installment of the Hell House LLC franchise. Filming will take place Saturday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO