Tuesday, June 4, 2013

'The House of the Devil' Review

An homage to horror films from the 70s and early 80s, "The House of the Devil" combines plot elements of slashers, haunted houses, and satanic panic movies into one devilishly good ride. Ti West did a brilliant job of recreating the feel of those movies by using filming techniques and technology similar to what was available to filmmakers during those two decades. By studying and using film angles that were used in the past, West manages to create what feels like a total immersion experience into the past for movie goers, and I think that it's absolutely brilliant.

I wasn't sure what I was getting into when it started, but once it was clear that it was a complete immersion of a period piece of early 80s satanic horror, I really enjoyed it. I love creepy atmospheric slow burning movies, and "The House of the Devil" does not fail to deliver.

Jocelin Donahue does a fantastic job playing Samantha, a college girl desperate for money who takes on a babysitting job for a strange old couple during the lunar eclipse. Unfortunately for her, the family has more planned for her than just watching their elderly matriarch for the evening.

Overall, the pacing is excellent, and the creepy, "babysitter getting into more trouble than she's bargained for" plot is done in a way that feels natural. Even better, while the movie is based on older horror movie tropes, it isn't cliched in the slightest. If you like slow burn slasher thrillers that feature the Devil, like "Rosemary's Baby," or "Darkness," you'll love "The House of the Devil."

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