71 user 22 critic

Holy Hell (2016)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Drama | 27 May 2016 (USA)
2:23 | Trailer
An inside look at Buddhafield, a West Hollywood cult formed by a charismatic teacher in the 1980s that eventually imploded.


Will Allen
4 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Amy Allen ... Self
Cristala Allen ... Self
Gina Allen ... Self
Will Allen ... Self (as William Francesco Allen)
Jennifer Baca ... Self
Alessandra Burenin ... Self
Vera Cheiffo ... Self
David Christopher ... Self
Phillipe Coquet ... Self
Radhia Gleis ... Self
Julian Goldstein ... Self
Jamie Simone Gomez ... Self - Buddhafield cult leader (archive footage)
Greg Gorey ... Self
Murti Hower ... Self
Chris Johnston ... Self


An inside look at Buddhafield, a West Hollywood cult formed by a charismatic teacher in the 1980s that eventually imploded.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Director Will Allen joined the cult when he was 22, after he was forced to leave home when his mother discovered he was gay. See more »


Chris Johnston: There's this social interplay that happens between highly codependent people and pathological narcissists. Who is going to give a person who needs constant adoration and attention, who is going to give that to them, ceaselessly? Somebody who relies on him as the source of their self-esteem. And they'll say, "You seem like a normal, rational, intelligent human being. How did this happen to you?"... It's what we do every time we come into a religion. We take on their beliefs as truth. You will do...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing song written and performed by _Cabot Budlong_ former member for 20 years. Abused, still surviving... See more »


References The Six Million Dollar Man (1974) See more »


Chasing Cars
Written by Gary Lightbody, Paul Wilson
Performed by Snow Patrol
Courtesy of Interscope Records
See more »

User Reviews

Lots of reviews by cult members
7 July 2016 | by spencerthecatSee all my reviews

I don't review movies here BUT I read the extremely negative reviews and was curious. All were by new members with this being either their only review or maybe one or two additional ones done soon after to legitimize their reviewing credentials. Obvious plants by the still faithful. Sadly they are still out there.

Their reviews did not have the result intended. They piqued my curiosity and I sought out this film. If you are fascinated by cults or a fan of documentaries seek this film out. It's a rare thing to have this much inside footage of a cult leader and his followers in action. To outsiders the machinations of this vain Svengali seem transparent and obvious. So vain that he was the one who had all of this footage shot. Meeting the members you gain insight, sympathy and understanding as to how and why seemingly intelligent, aware individuals can be swept up by someone and something like this.

The film is well constructed, clear, emotional and does have a point of view. That point of view is what gives this film it's fire and passion. It's made by ex cult members and boy are they angry. It doesn't pretend to be a cold, objective view on what went on there and I think it is better for it. Imagine a film about Scientology made by angry ex-members or a film about the Manson family made by a disillusioned, embarrassed, remorseful ex-member. Oh the truths we'd learn!

My only complaint is that I wanted a cathartic confrontation with the cult leader at the end. There is a confrontation but it seems muted and sad rather than explosive and angry.

See this well made documentary if you can. It's an eight but I'm giving it a ten to counterbalance those idiotic one star reviews.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

27 May 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Holy Hell See more »

Filming Locations:

Oahu, Hawaii, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,238, 29 May 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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