Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
The House of the Devil
Talk on the phone. Finish your homework. Watch TV. Die.
In the 1980s, college student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse. She slowly realizes her clients harbor a terrifying secret; they plan to use her in a satanic ritual.
Part of Hoop-Tober
“This one night changes everything for me.”
In the foyer, near the base of the grand staircase, sits a harpsichord.
Not a piano. Not even an organ. A harpsichord.
The house is already impressively creepy. So expansive yet so enclosed, so dark. Stairwells and passageways and so many rooms, all suitable for sneaking and hiding and misdirection. Everything about it is subtly unnerving—a grandparents’ home full of ugly wallpaper and linoleum and bric-a-brac, but with a sense that the grandson might be Damien. It’s reminiscent of the Victorian Bates manse in Psycho, itself inspired Edward Hopper’s The House by the Railroad. It is less a house than an imposition on good mental health. But it’s just a…
Part of Lise and Jonnie’s Horror-o-thon 2014
Well that was a great kick-off to this year’s Horror-o-thon! Not knowing anything going in, I was convinced by the opening scenes that this was a late 70’s / early 80’s haunted house horrorer; that is until the very late 70’s / early 80’s opening credits rolled … oooh, it has Mary Waronov! Wait, what? How old is Gretta Gerwig?
Ti West’s House of the Devil is neither homage nor send-up, it’s something completely sincere. While I’m the farthest thing from a horror genre aficionado, I’ve had enough exposure to the classics from that era to see that this rings true. It reminded me of a small Spanish/Danish comedy from 2003, Torremolino '73…
A person's vision is best portrayed the fewer the hands involved. I think that is what has worked best for Ti West's House of the Devil and in bringing it to life so successfully. Not only writing and directing, the fact he edited the film as well really kept his vision true and in tact.
The tone and pacing, while slow to build is used perfectly, adding an eerie and unsettling calm which eventually snowballs into intense and terrifying chaos.
Aside from Ti West's writing, directing, editing, cinematography, POV shots and all the technical aspects, his attention to detail was out of this world. There have been plenty of fantastic period-piece horror films but to have a throw back film,…
I love second viewings of films so much.
I have had discussions with the occasional person who flat out refuses to revisit films, saying they could never sit through something again when they already know what happens, and I am the guy on the polar opposite end of the spectrum in this regard. Not only can I watch the same work again and again as long as it tickles my entertainment bone (no, not that, get your mind out of the gutter pervert), but I actually typically prefer the second go round over the first.
When I first screen a film, I want to maintain a tight focus on the plot and do my best to follow the story beats…
Ti West's direction + spooky and grainy cinematography + methodical and slowly tightening tension + fantastic performances by Jocelin Donahue and Tom Noonan + brilliant references to the 1980s and satanic chillers + one of the greatest climaxes of all time + an eventual release of primal rage and desolation + a slightly-empty house = one of the finest horror films to be released in the 21st century.
Mrs Ulman, are you okay?
Steeped in artifice and flimsy storytelling, Ti West's "The House of the Devil" seems to have caught the eye of horror fans hungry for a throwback to the heady and feather-haired days of 1980s thrillers. To be sure, the film is such a throwback as its design, pace, and sets all revel in the sensibilities of that past decade. Strip those touches away, however, and the film rates only as a run-of-the-mill horror film, relying too much on generating atmosphere and too little on building a satisfying narrative.
Taking place in an era wear the Fixx could be listened to on foam-padded Walkman headphones, the film revolves around Jocelin Donahue's Samantha, a college co-ed in need of a job. Finding…
When "The House of the Devil" appeared on the suggested movies on my Netflix account I decided to give it chance, I wasn't expecting much from this movie knowing that it was a Ti West film, but I gotta tell ya this movie surprised me.
The story of the movie I thought it was interesting although it takes a long time to get to the good stuff. "The House of the Devil" is a pretty slow paced movie and I think that's one of the problems here, you definitely have to be patient to like it.
This movie was set in the 80's which I thought it was confusing at first because it looks more like it was set in…
I decided to watch this film after reading Playlist's list of the 25 best horror films of the 21st century so far (blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/the-25-best-horror-films-of-the-21st-century-so-far-20141030). I don't understand how this film made the cut as it wasn't scary or visceral in any way. I actually think horror movies don't have to be scary but they should at least make you feel SOMETHING and this film just bored me. I kept waiting for something to happen but it was all suspense with no pay-off. You are better off watching It Follows if you want a film that pays homage to John Carpenter while still being unique and anxiety-inducing.
Watched bluray commentary with director West and star Donahue.
Not a lot of fascinating insights here. Donahue is quite dull. Plus, she says "Rad" a lot.
This movie demonstrates how one thing leads to another.
Pretty good! I really admire how well this used slow burning build up, it prevented it from getting too cheesy when the cult stuff finally started. The acting was good, especially when horror can have cheap acting. The direction and cinematography was very raw, but showed a lot that was seen in West's later films as he grew and learned. Definitely worth the watch.
Jocelin Donahue reminds me of the young Jennifer Beals, though with 2002!Beals straighter hair.
Also, she looks amazing in 80's jeans, especially while dancing to The Fixx songs.
Did you know that you can buy this movie officially released on VHS?
I am actively considering it.
An 80's vibe slow burn horror flick. From the acting, scoring, script, cinematography, and the plot, it's what 80's horror fans will like.
I love the look and feel of this film. It's made to be from the 80's and for once that works.
The music is great, the atmosphere is creepy and very 80's and the ending is classic Ti West stuff.
I really like this film.
Film 133 of Project365, a project in which I watch a new film every day for a year.
Shot with a retro vibe and given a classic horro film treatment, House of the Devil shows that good horror is not all glitz and glamor, but rather a solid yet simple story meant to terrify your bones.
For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
Friends often ask me to recommend indie horror films on Netflix Instant. (American Netflix, sorry!) Now I can just send…