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The House of the Devil (2009)

R | | Horror | 4 May 2012 (Taiwan)
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2:13 | Trailer
In 1983, financially struggling college student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse. She slowly realizes her clients harbor a terrifying secret, putting her life in mortal danger.

Director:

Ti West

Writer:

Ti West
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jocelin Donahue ... Samantha
Tom Noonan ... Mr. Ulman
Mary Woronov ... Mrs. Ulman
Greta Gerwig ... Megan
AJ Bowen ... Victor Ulman
Dee Wallace ... Landlady
Heather Robb ... Roommate
Darryl Nau Darryl Nau ... Random Guy
Brenda Cooney ... Nurse
Danielle Noe Danielle Noe ... Mother
Mary B. McCann ... Elaine Cross (as Mary McCann)
John Speredakos ... Ted Stephen
Lena Dunham ... 911 Operator (voice)
Graham Reznick ... Local DJ (voice)
Ti West ... Favorite Teacher
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Storyline

In 1983, financially struggling college student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse. She slowly realizes her clients harbor a terrifying secret, putting her life in mortal danger.

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 May 2012 (Taiwan) See more »

Also Known As:

House of the Devil See more »

Filming Locations:

Lakeville, Connecticut, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,195, 1 November 2009

Gross USA:

$101,215

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$101,215
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the couple, the Ullmans, is possibly an homage / reference to the popular early 1980s horror movie "the Shining." In that period film, Mr. Ullman is the hotel manager who hires Jack Nicholson's character and relates the unsavory background about the hotel to him. This is similar to Mr. Ullman in "House of the Devil", who hires Samantha, lures her out to a remote location, and only then relates the true nature of the "babysitting" job. See more »

Goofs

When Samantha drops the phone receiver both at the pay phone outside the college and in the Ulman's kitchen, the sound is not the dial tone that would immediately follow a hang up on a land line, but a tone that occurred after the phone had been off the hook for more than five minutes. 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

Special Thanks: Goatse & Tubgirl See more »

Connections

Features Night of the Living Dead (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Muscle Hustle
Written by Seth Diamond, Ben Lebovitz and Graham Reznick
Performed by The Genetic Assassins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Like a Lost Horror Classic from 1982
27 July 2009 | by LlakorSee 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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