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The House of the Devil (2009)

R | | Horror | 4 May 2012 (Taiwan)
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During a night of 1983 with full lunar eclipse, Samantha Hughes takes a babysitting job surrounded by mysterious circumstances before she finds out her client's terrifying secret.

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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Heather Robb ...
Roommate
Darryl Nau ...
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Danielle Noe ...
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Elaine Cross (as Mary McCann)
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911 Operator (voice)
Graham Reznick ...
Local DJ (voice)
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Storyline

During a night of 1983 with full lunar eclipse, Samantha Hughes takes a babysitting job surrounded by mysterious circumstances before she finds out her client's terrifying secret.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Talk on the Phone. Finish Your Homework. Watch TV. Die. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some bloody violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 May 2012 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

A Casa do Demônio  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$25,195 (USA) (30 October 2009)

Gross:

$100,659 (USA) (25 December 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

We can assume that the film is set in 1983 as one of the songs featured is "One Thing Leads to Another" by The Fixx. See more »

Goofs

The rotary phone inside the house has a "516" area code, which is Nassau County, Long Island, NY. There is also an emergency sticker on the phone displaying the real life working phone number for the New Hyde Park Fire Department. New Hyde Park is a suburb on Long Island, NY. However, the film is set in a remote area on the outskirts of an upstate college town. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Landlady: I can tell you like it.
Samantha: Oh, I love it. It's perfect.
Landlady: Well, great. It's such a neat place. You know, I showed it to another girl this morning, but to be honest I did like her very much. She looked like trouble, and I'm way too old to be dealing with all that nonsense. I go a lot on my gut feelings, and I have a good one about you. You remind me of my daughter.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Samantha is shown lying down on a hospital bed over the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Hell Baby (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

One of Our Submarines
Written by Thomas Dolby
Performed by Thomas Dolby
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Like a Lost Horror Classic from 1982
27 July 2009 | by (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – See all my reviews

If the producers of this film were smart, they would deny that Ti West wrote and directed this film and claim that it was a lost film of the early eighties that they found in a drawer at Paramount. Say a lost Tobe Hooper film that Tobe did right before doing Poltergeist. Something that Steven Spielberg bought to keep from competing with Poltergeist and shoved in a drawer somewhere.

Because it's that good. 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.

The baby-sitter in peril is Samantha (Jocelin Donahue). A college student, she is doing baby-sitting gigs because she needs money for a new apartment and desperately wants to get out of her dorm. Her roommate is a sex-addict and a slob and Samantha as a neat-freak germaphobe finds both behaviours repulsive. The job that Samantha ends up taking, on the night of a full lunar eclipse, is obviously (cue Admiral Ackbar) a trap, more obvious to the audience than to Samantha because we know that the name of the film is The House of the Devil, because her employer is Tom Noonan, the original Red Dragon from Michael Mann's Manhunter and because Samantha is too self-absorbed to notice that she is in danger.

There is a danger to read too much into it, but there is a very real sense that this film is pitched perfectly at the divide between the sex and drugs disco party lifestyle of the Seventies and the money-obsessed, self-absorbed Eighties.

There is even a sense in which the film (with the benefit of filmmaker hindsight) acts as a horror metaphor explaining how the drugs and sex excesses of the Seventies led to the health catastrophes of the Eighties, especially AIDS. Samantha may not know exactly why she is a germaphobe, nor why she is so freaked out by the house she is sitting at, but her anxieties are well-placed.

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? -William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming


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