Thursday, May 24, 2012

The House of the Devil (2009) Review

Samantha is a good girl and probably gets good grades at College. Her roommate at College dorm is lazy, messy, and snores too loud. Samantha desperately wants to get a place to call her own; she finds an apartment that would be perfect for her. All she has to do is come up with $300 for a down payment by Monday and the place is hers. There is only one problem, Samantha only has $84 in her account. She finds a babysitter wanted flyer on Campus and calls for the job. Mr. Ulman calls her back immediately and she accepts the job, she then talks her friend, Megan, into driving her out to the secluded Victorian country home. When Samantha and Megan arrive, Mr. Ulman informs her that he lied on the phone and she will not be babysitting a child, but his elderly Mom instead. He offers her $400 to stay and watch his Mother for four hours. Because she needs the money desperately, she accepts the job and stays against her better judgment. However, Samantha should have listened to her friend, who warned her against staying, because Mr. Ulman is hiding some very big secrets.

The first time I watched House of the Devil, I could have sworn I was watching a movie from the late 70s or early 80s. Every detail is accurate to the 80s...the hair, fashion, the sets, and the music brought me right back to the 80s, as if it were yesterday. Even the way Samantha dances around the house is so typically 80s. The fact that it is about Devil worshipping or Satanism is very 80s also.  Horror movies from the late 70s and early 80s are my favorites of the Horror genre. They tend to have the best stories, suspense, and atmosphere. That Era must also be Ti West's favorite, because he nails the look and feel of the 80s exactly.

This movie is what some might call a slow burn type of Horror Movie, meaning it takes it's time building the characters and the suspense slowly. Unfortunately, most newer genre fans aren't used to this style of Horror Movie, so they may not appreciate the deliberately slow pace.  There are no obvious jump scares or a huge body count.  But there is a fantastic pay off at the end of House of the Devil. It doesn't disappoint with the scares or blood and has a nice twist at the end. The lead actress, Joceline Donahue gives a great performance and there is a cameo by Scream Queen Dee Wallace also.

During the filming of House of the Devil , the cast and crew stayed at the Pedlar Inn, which you might recognize as the hotel in which The Innkeepers was filmed. House of the Devil was Directed by Ti West and stars Joceline Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, and Dee Wallace and is available in Dvd or Bluray.

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