Lucas and Clementine live peacefully in their isolated country house, but one night they wake up to strange noise... they're not alone... and a group of hooded assailants begin to terrorize them throughout the night.
Deliberately shot in the same kind of style and using similar techniques as the splatter films of the 70s and the 80s which it emulates. See more »
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 »
I can tell you like it.
Oh, I love it. It's perfect.
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.
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Samantha is shown lying down on a hospital bed over the closing credits. See more »
Good, but uneven, throwback to 80's religious horror
Ti West, who directed the underrated Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, is a name to watch out for. The House of the Devil, although not fantastic, proves that West has an excellent eye for visuals, details and creating suspense. This film feels as though it has come directly out of the 80's, more like a lost film of some horror director like John Carpenter or Tobe Hooper than a second feature by a new millennium director. From the opening and end credits, to the walkman, fashion, soundtrack and the slightly faded visuals, even the storyline, centred on babysitters and Satanists feels like the movie belongs back in the 80's.
Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) is a college student who needs money fast. Her roommate is a disgusting slob, and Samantha is a neat-freak, lucky for her she has found an apartment, but needs money to pay the rent. She stumbles across a babysitter advert at the college and quickly applies. Soon enough she is meeting with Mr. Ulman (Tom Noonan) and his odd wife Mrs. Ulman (Mary Woronov) on the night of the lunar eclipse. Straight away it is obvious to us, and Samantha's friend Megan (Greta Gerwig), that this job is a setup for some sinister goings down (hence the title 'The House of the Devil').
The first 40 minutes of this movie are excellent. Samantha is a character we can care about and a sense of dread permeates the proceedings. However, once the babysitting starts very little happens and the movie slows to a halt which ultimately destroys the fantastic mood setup. Events pick up at 75 minute mark, but with only 15 minutes left the final act is rushed with no time to generate any scares (apart from some nice gory deaths).
The cast do an excellent job, the exchanges between Mr. Ulman and Samantha are deliciously creepy, and the house itself is reminiscent of the Amityville house. The actual story is quite good, nothing new or exciting but a simple little devil-themed yarn with a little twist. Unfortunately it is the pacing which is this film's undoing, and it is a shame because it really could have been an amazingly good film otherwise.
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