House of the Devil Review

Movie: House of the Devil
By: Maniac E
Date: November 7, 2012

Talk on the phone. Finish your homework. Watch TV. Die.

The 1980's were a golden age for horror movies, and many filmmakers today try to recapture that magic in their own films. Director Ti West's film "The House of the Devil" is yet another example, and for the most part succeeds in his efforts.

College student Samantha Hughes (Jocelin Donahue) is the archetypal female lead at the centre of the ritualistic story. Trying to gather enough money together so she may move out of her dorm, which she occupies with her room-mate Megan (Greta Gerwig), she reluctantly applies for a local babysitter gig. The prospect of watching television all night, while occasionally checking on a child and ultimately getting paid cash-in-hand appeals to her financial stricken nature straight away, however she has no idea what the mysterious Mr (Tom Noonan) and Mrs (Mary Woronov) Ulman have in store for the naive young student.

House of the Devil

The House of the Devil feels like it should have been released back in 1982, from the feathered hair of the leads, to the Walkman, to the music and sound, to the slow build of the suspense, to the vintage titles. It is even a mash-up of the late seventies obsessions with baby-sitters in peril (When a Stranger Calls) and satanism in the suburbs (The Omen). Most importantly, it has all the slow-burn intensity of the great horror films of that period.

House of the Devil

Yes I know it pains me to say but Ti West ended up creating a good movie, I wasn't really looking forward to any of his movies after Cabin Fever 2... (you know exactly what I mean with this). But House of the Devil gives the right vibes and manages to hit the right spot. It can be slow but atleast it has a decent story to go into deeper unlike most horror movies.

House of the Devil

House of the Devil was truly a horror experience I rarely see from recent American horror films, this difference between House of the Devil and its peers thrown into sharp relief by the clearly nostalgic feel it gives off, even from the opening credits. Even the grainy camera shots add a sense of, for lack of a better word, enjoyable "retro" style, rather than becoming a detriment. And the camera work itself is also exemplary, snaking and twisting its way among the oppressive halls of the house that seems more an antique than something to be lived in.

House of the Devil

The House of the Devil is unquestionably a good movie. Nothing is shown, save for one particularly haunting shot of what lies behind a door that remains (at least temporarily) unopened, and it is all the better for that. But this is before everything goes to Hell at the climax. But be warned don't expect a fast movie with a lot of guts and blood.



House of the Devil


House of the Devil


Ti West






Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov