Directed by Ti West
I read a couple of positive reviews for this film when it came out last year and made a mental note to check it out when I had a chance. After watching it I can pretty confidently say that it fits my criteria quite well for what a horror film should be. (Namely, scary.)
For one thing, “House of th Devil” takes its time. It doesn’t just rush into trying to scare you. And when I say that it takes its time, I really mean it. The “horror” elements (or at least what most people would consider horrific things) don’t really kick in until the final fifteen minutes of the film. Everything else before is just build up. But not the somewhat cheap build up that was used in “Paranormal Activity” (which, while yes, quite good, was very guilty of trying to get cheap scares out of its audience). “HOD” takes its time and builds layers and layers of normalcy only to rip it all away at the last second, and in doing so, make the entire experience all the more terrifying.
Here’ s a quick synopsis. Samantha needs money. So she agrees to babysit for a weird couple. That’s all you need to know. Everything that happens afterwards is pretty god damn scary. And Tom Noonan (who plays the man who hires her) probably deserved an Academy Award nomination for this performance. It’s really too bad that the Academy and award shows in general just ignore genre films, especially horror. But he’s fantastic in this.
“The House of the Devil” is probably the only horror film in recent memory that deserves to even be mentioned in the same breath as films like “Rosemary’s Baby”, “The Shining”, and “The Exorcist”. And it’s no shock to find out that it has more in common with films like those than it does something that passes for horror now a days like “Saw”. Check it out if you like your horror movies well made.
Plus, how cool is that poster? And I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that captured the 80’s so perfectly, save for maybe “American Psycho”.