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.
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've been thinking a lot about the review I did for this film yesterday quite a lot overnight and this morning and I think I was slightly harsh on this film.
I think I've reviewed it far too much on issues I had with it rather than whether I enjoyed it or not. The fact is that even though it is still ridiculously slowly built up and the ending 15 minutes or so are still a really disappointing pay-off, I actually didn't mind all the build-up. At no point was I bored or did I think it was terrible or anything and I was fairly engaged by it all. I think the segment where Jocelin Donahue is looking after the…
It's refreshing to see a new up and coming Director learn a thing or two from Film School 101. a) Learn from your contemporaries mistakes, do not apply said learnings b) Study the Masters, and apply said learnings.
Ti West has channelled Hitchcockian tension and suspense in this highly effective horror that even whilst it basks in 'retro', it feels like a breath of fresh air. The slow-burn momentum weaves a spell that Horror generally lacks in this day in age where the reliance on jump-scares, fast-cuts and gore is king.
It takes well over an hour for things to get rolling, and by that stage you are so unnerved by what you are NOT seeing (if it wasn't for…
I had to double take the year this film was made - Yes 2009 - yet it's more 80's than any 80's horror I have ever seen. From the opening credits, it's grainy style, it's washed out colours, the soundtrack, even the poster, everything about this film oozes 80's horror. It isn't however just a clever gimmick - Ti West's The House of the Devil does everything right. EVERYTHING.
This is no slasher film. It relies on the classic combination of slow build suspense, creepy sounds and tense silences to great effect. In retrospect, nothing much really happens and it was quite a slow burner but that did not detract from it being a very engaging film.
A college student…
A creepy and effective slow burn horror film. When it first started I thought things looked a bit cheap and nasty considering the film is only a few years old. That initial assessment however was wiped away when the opening credits began and I knew exactly what I was in for. Director Ti West has created a horror film that is firmly rooted back in the 80s. He seems to have aimed to recreate the magic of the horror genre from that era and for me he has succeeded. I somehow felt the nostalgia oozing through the film for an era I wasn't even alive for.
I find that in horror films the tease is almost always more thrilling than…
This movie is hardcore and if you disagree you're wrong. Definitely need more satanism movies like this.
Man, Ti West is never in a hurry, is he?
Slow and almost perfect. Directed with almost too much horror confidence.
A nice pastiche of Argento and Bob Clarke starring Jocelin Donahue as a Karen Allen/Jessica Harper/Barbara Hershey lookalike all alone in a spooky house. Like Ti West's similar (but I think better) The Innkeepers, this also features an indie actress (Greta Gerwig) with much too little screen time, totally fleshing out a role that's usually a throwaway in genre films like this. Builds to a fine climax, but then the final ambiguity left me a bit meh. Feels less like a film and more like an essay about all its influences, but you may like that sort of thing.
A disappointing last 20mins but I dug it.
Wonderfully creepy and atmospheric until the big reveal -- which took me out of the movie and made for a dissapointing final 20 minutes.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
More impressive as a calling card for Ti West than as a movie in and of itself. The neatest trick it pulls isn't the appreciably committed 80s throwback formalism but the fact that for the first hour, absolutely nothing happens narratively to indicate that this is a horror movie (not counting that one scene with Greta Gerwig). A young woman rents a house. She needs money. She agrees to babysit for money. Turns out she's babysitting an ailing old woman. Weird, but okay. Then she wanders around the house for twenty minutes dancing and aimlessly opening doors. As I said, nothing happens, and there's not really any logical in-universe reason to be scared, but West plays on our knowledge that…
This could have been so good but ended up awful.
The title scenes really gave me hope this would be a neat 70s throwback horror, and it tries to do that, like half the time. The other half the director has no idea what he's doing.
And don't get me wrong, I appreciate a slow burner, but you've gotta actually start at some point...
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