Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The House of the Devil (2009)

Starring: Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, and Mary Woronov

Homicidal Maniac: The Ulmans (Mr., Mrs., Victor, and Mother)

Run time: 1:35:09

5 Word Synopsis:  Bad stuff happens to babysitter.

The goal of The House of the Devil was to pay homage to the most popular horror movie era, the 1970s and 1980s.  From the very beginning Ti West is able to accomplish his goal in an almost perfect fashion.  Everything appears to have been put into its proper place without it being forced like you might expect from a movie that's attempting to recreate a setting that is over 30 years.  The use of a 16 mm camera and other little tricks only add to
the 80s horror feel.  In my opinion this movie is so close to being an all timer.  The first two acts builds up  great suspense by using a slow-pace that is still interesting enough to keep the audience's attention.  At one point, I was so caught up in the suspense, I lost track of what I had correctly figured out would happen.  It was a real small misdirection, but it was clever enough that I really enjoyed it.  Now to get to the issue I had that holds this movie back from being an all-time great.  The ending just seemed rushed, and a little sloppy.  I'm not sure if it was intentional in an attempt to contrast the first two thirds of the film or not, but if it was it still was not great execution.  However, the earlier portions of the film are good enough to overcome these issues.  This is great homage to earlier awful horror movies.

Fun Fact:  Although the film states that it based on a true story, there is no mention in the film or press releases what events it is supposedly based upon.  This could suggest that this was just another reference to the 70s and 80s films such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Hidden Gem: Night of the Living Dead is playing when Samantha turns on the TV for a brief second.

Total Kill Count:
Megan- Greta Gerwig (37:00) Shot in the Head Gore Rating: 8
Dead Child- Archie Van Beuren (1:04:00) Found Dead/Apparent Satanic Ritual Gore Rating: 6
Dead Husband- Nicholas Bienstock (1:04:00) Found Dead/Apparent Satanic Ritual Gore Rating: 5
Dead Wife- Andrea Verdura (1:04:00) Found Dead/Apparent Satanic Ritual Gore Rating: 2
Victor Ulman- AJ Bowen (1:21:00) Throat Slit Gore Rating: 8
Mrs. Ulman- Mary Woronov (1:23:00) Stabbed in the Back Gore Rating: 6

             Horror Film: 8
             Entertainment: 6
             Gore: 7
             Overall:  7.5