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…
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…
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…
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…
"The following is based on true unexplained events..."
I'm not quite sure I buy that, but this pitch-perfect '80s throwback builds nicely (and patiently) to its grand guignol climax. It also makes me want to dig up my clunky old Walkman and rock out to The Fixx.
This movie is all build up with one, big, bloody climax at the end. It's clearly channeling Carpenter's Halloween, in a really wonderful way. It could almost be considered parody, it's almost over-the-top in its building of tension. Great little horror movie!
Still digesting this, but really enjoyed it. It's so well done, and I appreciated the slow build up. Plus Tom Noonan! He's tall.
It's a slow film, it takes it's time to get where it's going. That's not necessarily a bad thing but here they could have increased the pace a little. It's never a good sign when I start wondering how much of the movie is left. The performances are all good and I loved seeing some genre favorites given a little screen time.
Now this is an interesting little film. Clearly lovingly sending up the old horror films of late 70s/early 80s, but much more subtle than a routine homage. Spends a long time, majority of run time, creating an atmosphere of tension in a place that clearly isn't safe, kudos to a fantastic short part where Megan stops her car to light a cigarette, but the ending does fall a bit short. Too much of a jump to the final act, which then lacks impact, but still some effective scares and a nicely shot final scene. Shows a lot more potential for Ti West that the inn keepers did.
Are you not the babysitter?
My favorite modern horror film. I could see this becoming a yearly tradition.
Yawn. A bore fest that was mildly interesting till half way through, then it just become a slow decrepit film trying to build on suspense that really wasn't there. In the first hour, the only hint at suspense was when her friend is shot. That's it. Then, when it's to late, it just flops and flails in redundant cult sacrifice ritual been there done that plot. And here, I was expecting this great movie from all the hype I've heard on podcast. I've got to stop listening to hype built up on podcast. Another one down that I didn't care for.
Easily Ti West's best film to date. Builds well with an decent payoff. Good old school horror.
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