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…
Fun, uninspired haunted house film.
Ti West received a lot of critical acclaim for this 80s set horror outing,which has a college student(Jocelin Donahue) accepts a one night babysitter job at a remote mansion where an eccentric couple( Mary Woronov,Tom Noonan) and their murderous aide(A.J. Bowen) reside,with everything going and moving as slow at the place as it does with the film,until Donahue eventually learns that she's an intended sacrifice for the couple's latest satanic ritual,as well as being impregnanted with a demonic entity. There's some well shot scenes and a few splattery deaths,but the film is such a chore to sit through and mightily tries at being a decent film but eventually falls flat. With Dee Wallace(in a quick cameo) and Greta Gerwin. It was also one of the first indie horror films that started the retro media thing/trend(fr independent horror films) of having a VHS Video released alongside its acoompanying DVD/Blu Ray.
Every second of this movie is tense. It feels more like an experience in extreme dread and stress than a slow-build horror film. The mood and atmosphere achieved in this movie is incredible.
What a fun fucking movie. Very successful as an homage and really feels from the beginning like it was shot in Ye Olden Times of the early 80s.
I don't trust Ti West tho, even though I liked this + The Inkeepers. I...basically just don't trust anybody involved in the violently upsetting misogynistic shitproject that was V/H/S
Review published by EyeforFilm
A little wacky/indie and not as compact as I would have liked, but overall I enjoyed it.
I love it when movies surprise you out of nowhere like this. The House of the Devil literally feels like this lost gem of a horror movie from the early 80's that's recently been discovered. It's also one of the most suspenseful movies I've seen in the last 10+ years.
Writer/director Ti West knows it's not always about the payoff in this genre, but the anticipation. The pace, the atmosphere, the tension...this is a fantastic throwback horror/suspense film in the tradition of Hitchcock and Carpenter. For the first time since I was a kid I felt like I should have the remote on standby to turn the volume down when the tension became too unbearable. Of course in today's ADD…
Ti West's The House of the Devil has all the great workings of essential 80's horror classics. He even nails the grainy cinematography and the oftimes cheesy overacting of the characters from horror films of that time. He manages to recreate a realistic 1980's atmosphere that never falls short, like the vain attempt in The Box. Instead, everything is corded, the televisions are tubes, and the old Coke logo is back in full view. Ti does everything possible to make sure that we are fully aware that this is set in the 80's, even going as far as making the opening credits sequence a traditional title-card style montage. It's a level of homage that I love to see in…
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