Holy Hell (Netflix)

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline: Buddhafield is a dumb name for a cult.

Quick synopsis: A documentary about the Buddhafield cult which the filmmaker was in for 22 years.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like: This cult still exists in Hawaii.

Fun Fact for History Nerds: This cult leader, Michel, had his people under control to the point that he made them build a ballet stage for him to put on shows only for the cult.

My Take: The most interesting aspect of this look into a cult is that you are taken through its evolution by someone who was in the cult but also filmed everything for over 22 years.

Will Allen was the documentarian of Buddhafield starting in the mid to late 1980s. Allen would ultimately stay in the cult for 22 years. He was deeply immersed including his family members being a part of them as well.

The cult leader, Michel, is very creepy as it seems all cult are. He is strange, but he of course is somehow magnetic to the people who end up following him. Like most cults you see on documentaries, it starts off well with people feeling included and valued. However, sooner or later the cult leader begins to use people purely for their own devices. Michel is no different.

This documentary brings many former members in the front of the camera and adds a lot to the old footage. I really enjoyed it.

Verdict: This is a personal film for the creator and can be pretty powerful at certain parts. It does not have the shock value of some other true crime documentaries but it’s very good all the same. 

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Holy Hell (Netflix)
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