Sunday, November 8, 2009

The House of the Devil: Back to the Better Days of Horror

The House of the Devil. I've been hearing about this movie non-stop and was so thrilled I finally got a chance to see it. Turns out- it's amazing. No buts about it- if you are a horror fan and did not enjoy this I don't know who you are! The 80's was a good decade for horror movies, and pretty much throughout this entire movie I felt like I was watching some hidden gem of the era. I couldn't believe how 80's this was and it just filled me with all kinds of warm and happy feelings. 

Samantha needs money. Her roommate's a slut and she wants OUT. Problem is- she can't really afford it. She soon spots a very minimalist style ad for a sitter, and responds. Upon arriving Samantha feels a tad uncomfortable when the man tells her there are no kids. Instead, she will be looking after the grandmother... Yeah creep city. Samantha almost backs out but when she's offered $400 how can she resist? Those creepy uncomfortable thoughts return however...and what a gyp that $400 ends up being.

There was something incredibly wonderful happening from the moment this movie began. It somehow kept me on edge the entire time! How did it do this? I'm not really sure, but all I know is that I was deeply in love and engrossed by this movie. It's like....we know the Devil is involved but we aren't quite sure what that is suppose to mean. What's the deal with this house? Why is Tom Noonan obsessed with Samantha ordering pizza? We know these people are up to something- but try as we might it's almost impossible to understand until those last few scenes. And when those last few scenes happen... you better hold on tight. 

There isn't anything overly gory or graphic here- it's just completely well done suspense that starts rolling the moment the movie starts. This movie is all about things building up. The first death of the movie is completely unexpected and amazing. From there we sit through agonizing minutes of Samantha waltzing around the house with her 50 pound walkman and unaware of what is unfolding. I mean agonizing in the best of ways. 

I will say I don't entirely agree with Samantha's "baby sitting" etiquette. She is nosy. Also how did she know which room the grandmother was in? She kept opening all these random doors! How ballsy. 

Now the scares in this movie as in jump scares are minimal which is fantastic because we didn't get a whole lot of that in 80's. I was so put off by the bathtub scene that I just sat there with my mouth hanging open. It's not a gross bloody scene but....yeah. Something just ain't right there. And then the ending, man....that old lady might have the scariest face I have ever seen. And of course they had to pull an exorcist and keep flashing it on the screen at random times. 

I could go on for hours about what I loved- when the lights turned off but we could still see what was happening in black and white, the moment of power loss coinciding with the complete lunar eclipse- absolute darkness!, the dead family in that room...(what the fuck!). Gah it was just really really refreshing. The ending is a big what the fuck and there's no final scare at the end. The movie just is what it is. No gimmicks, no special effects just pure good old fashioned horror. Oh. And there's another scene that really made me shake in my involves the Mother and her taking off her SPOILER wig. Wow. Gross.

If this is playing within 300 miles of you, you need to pack a snack and go see it. NOW. 

HorrorBlips: vote it up!


Unknown said...

I can't take anymore build up...I NEED TO SEE THIS NOW! lol

Unknown said...

One of the best film's of the year, easily. You're right, that first death is so out of nowhere, and the fact that the film took its time to make you like the character so much makes it all the more shocking.

You should check out The Roost if you haven't seen it. It's another slow burner of a film by Ti West

Andre Dumas said...

Oooh I will definitely be checking that out, thanks Mike!