Tuesday, April 20, 2010

House of the Devil (2009)

Ti West hit pay dirt and comes up blood soaked with this note perfect homage to late 1970's or early 1980's horror films. Having lived through the period and seen countless of the films he's copying I'm telling you he got it dead on perfect, and best of all its a scary movie in its own right.

The plot, which I'm going to tell as briefly and non-spoiler filled as possible, has a college student taking a job for a babysitter. Unfortunately the job isn't as a babysitter its actually to watch the mother of an older couple so that they can go out on the night of a lunar eclipse. Let's just understate things by saying things go horribly wrong from there. (I won't say more since some of the promo material, the local cable operator's description on the pay per view service reveals too much. Though to be honest because of who plays some characters you can kind of guess bits of where things are going)

A slow building tension coils up until the explosion at the end which leaves everyone and everything blood soaked. Its a corker of the sort no one does any more, not with the effectiveness that's on display here. The problem with other films is not that the plots are bad its just that in the hands of hack filmmakers the material getsdown graded. West's handling of the material on the other hand, is as perfect as they come, and while it doesn't do anything new, except maybe in the volume of blood, it takes a well worn plot and makes it look perfect and new.

Can you tell I really liked this? Part of it is the nostalgia, both of the time shown and of the movies it copies (down to the music and credit lettering); mostly I love the film because its a damn good horror film. Where is the drive-in movie when you need one.

Highly recommended (Rob Zombie should be jealous)

Currently out on DVD


  1. I'm not a big horror fan, as you know, but I'm interested in this one. It seems like fun more than anything, but not in that "laugh at gore" kind of way that I dislike. It seems to have a good sense of what it is and what it's trying to do.

    I may give it a try some day.

  2. It's great fun. I think you'll like it. Just know it gets gory toward the end...