The House of the Devil (2009) Poster

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any second now i'll be blown away... maybe not
RickHarvey13 June 2010
Well then, what do we have here? A modern horror film placed in the 70/80s era. I already like Ti West thinking. With most Horror films today being god damn awful, it refreshing to see one which pays homage to the classics while trying to be unique. From start to finish, the film is littered with classic horror references. The opening titles design, the babysitter, Satanism. Even some parts of the music score is identical to the famous Halloween score.

Now then, this film is very slow. It takes it time to build up, in fact, it takes the main character 30 minutes to reach the house. Thank god then that Samatha was likable. Now, it doesn't matter how slow a film starts, i mean the shining is regarded as slow but there one big contrast between the film's build up. One goes somewhere the other doesn't . Once we finally get to the house, we do nothing more than watch Samatha stroll around for the rest of the film.

West atmosphere is perfect, his camera work was great, the suspension was brilliant but nothing ever came from these very few moments. The suspense just keeps building , West keeps on adding more fuel onto the fire until finally he runs out and the credits starts rolling . Very little happens and when we do reach the final act, it ends up being boring and forgettable.

This film looks great but sadly , the script is poor leaving a potential film into a easily forgettable one. If you particularly enjoy watching people do nothing for a hour and 10 minutes, then this is highly recommended
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suspenseful buildup, less satisfying resolution
Buddy-5122 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
In "The House of the Devil," a young co-ed (Jocelin Donahue), hard-up for money to pay the rent on her new place off campus, answers an ad for a babysitting job way out in the boonies, only to be plunged headlong into a bizarre devil-worshipping cult in search of a sacrificial victim.

Set in the 1980s - in a time before cell phones gave us at least the illusion of connectedness and security - this refreshingly unadorned and unembellished thriller does something rather unique with its structure (possibly a necessity brought on by its extremely low budget). The story comes to such a slow boil that the stretched-out tension becomes almost unbearable, thereby enhancing the atmosphere of dread.

Unfortunately, die-hard slasher movie fans may be disappointed by the rather rushed, truncated and anticlimactic nature of the final scenes, in which our heroine finds herself being held captive by some of the most feckless and least competent kidnappers in horror movie history.

Still, the suspenseful buildup is more than compensation for the half-baked and halfhearted resolution that follows.
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A masterclass in the atmospheric chiller...until the resolution
tsheridan9410 June 2012
I find it impossible to give this movie less than a seven, because, even if the ending was absolutely a letdown, the first 80% of the movie was so excellently constructed that its cinematic value cannot be lessened too greatly.

And excellent The House of the Devil is for most of its duration. Director/Writer/Editor Ti West shows a remarkable proficiency for being able to truly scare, through an excellent slow-burn build-up, allowing the atmosphere of the titular house and the anticipation for when it is inevitably released to bring a viewer to nail-biting fear, rather than simply trying to startle with constant Boo! Got'cha! "scares," or excessive gore. In the end, this method is far more effective and lasting, less artificial than the latter methods which seem to, unfortunately, be the bread and butter of modern American horror filmmakers.

However, when the denouement rolls around, this is completely thrown out the window. Sure, the gore may look nice (and indeed it does; not top of the line, but it belies the film's budget), but it completely abandons House's almost regal sense of restraint that worked so effectively for nearly the entire length of the movie. Not to mention, the transition in styles is itself so jarring that I was pulled from the experience for nearly 10 minutes, an unfortunate occurrence when that covers almost the entire duration of the remainder. The release of the built up fear was clumsy and ineffective, and the effect of the movie after the credits rolled was erased. I wasn't left with the feeling that something could be lurking just out of sight over my shoulder that the best horror movies provide; a tension that extends beyond the movie's run-time. This problem I believe to later be solved by Ti West's later film "The Innkeepers," a picture I believe (and seemingly in the minority) to be the superior movie.

However, despite its eventual letdown, the remainder of House of the Devil was truly a horror experience I rarely see from recent American horror films, this difference between House of the Devil and its peers thrown into sharp relief by the clearly nostalgic feel it gives off, even from the opening credits. Even the grainy camera shots add a sense of, for lack of a better word, enjoyable "retro" style, rather than becoming a detriment. And the camera work itself is also exemplary, snaking and twisting its way among the oppressive halls of the house that seems more an antique than something to be lived in.

The House of the Devil is unquestionably a good movie. For most of the film, I was completely drawn in, waiting with a rising anticipation to see what was lurking around the corner; The House of the Devil is truly scary even with its superficial sense of the mundane. Nothing is shown, save for one particularly haunting shot of what lies behind a door that remains (at least temporarily) unopened, and it is all the better for that. But this is before (please excuse the pun) everything goes to Hell at the climax. I'd certainly recommend this film; just don't expect the release to be able to come close to matching the rising action.
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Good, but uneven, throwback to 80's religious horror
LoneWolfAndCub8 April 2012
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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Critique of the overall movie
jordanjshanahan12 March 2017
House of the Devil is a film that delves the audience into an atmosphere of a classical slasher film. The scenery and style of the misc-en-scene throughout the film heavily mirrors that of the ideal 80s slasher such as Halloween. The scenery in the film is one of its defining characteristics that help this movie stand out from other modern day horror films that rely heavily on special effects.

The overall best aspect of this film is its growing suspense. This is not a movie for those who love gore and constant assault on the senses. For the grand majority of the movie the audience held down by so much expectation it becomes almost unbearable. The audience grows attached to the very attractive main character (Jocelin Donahue) who despite her and her friend's best efforts to be sensible throughout the film falls victim to classic horror movie stereotypes. This attraction and connection to the main character as the suspense continues to build at a grueling pace make this part of the film truly great.

The excellent use of growing suspense throughout the film is also its biggest downfall as the audience is filled to the brim with expectation only to have that feeling shattered by a very rushed ending. The ending assaults your senses too fast and is too unbelievable. The audience becomes disconnected as the realistic suspense of the majority of the film at this grueling pace is replaced by an unrealistic ending that happens all too fast.

Another positive aspect of this film that should be mentioned is the comic relief of the best friend (Greta Gerwig) delivering excellent amount of fun in the face of this growing suspense.

Overall the majority of this film has all the aspects of a classical slasher of growing suspense. However, the pacing at the end and the disconnect from this suspenseful first half of the film served as a large disappointment.
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Like a Lost Horror Classic from 1982
Llakor27 July 2009
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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Snorefest followed by a Borefest
rsu6sic618 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Before watching this movie I looked at some ratings for it and it it had a decent rating on IMDb so I figured I'd watch it. I started watching this movie late at night in hopes of giving myself a scare. Unfortunately, basically nothing happens in 70 minutes of the film. It took me 3 days to finish this snore fest of a movie. The first night was because I was tired and only got through 15 minutes, the second night I could only watch up to the 70 minute mark until I said to myself, "If nothing happens within the next 2 minutes I gotta stop watching this." Nothing happened so I went to sleep. With only about 25 minutes left in the movie, I watched it the following day. I had to wait 5 more minutes before anything actually picked up in the movie. That gave me about 20 minutes left. Luckily the snore fest upgraded itself to a bore fest. The babysitter finds a tub filled with hair, Oh so scary, then she passes out from the poison pizza she ate, Oh what a twist. Now she is tied up for a Satanic ritual, the owners of the house are all back and ready to sacrifice her. Somehow she escapes, beats people up, runs outside, blows her head off to save the human race and her soul the end. Oh whats this? A shot of a hospital? She's alive with her head bandaged up? How did she get there? How did she live a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head, how did the family explain the situation to paramedics? What a well thought out twist ending. Best ending ever.
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Classic suspense horror for true fans of the genre
freakinflax18 October 2009
I heard some good things about this film before viewing, and then on this site heard some bad things. I've come to believe that listening to others doesn't always help. It's all about opinion and experience, and in my opinion, this experience was worth it.

I won't get into too many details of the plot as the reviews and trailers tell it straight forward, but as far as tension, cinematography, atmosphere, music and style goes, this film really has it all. It's a classic story of your ordinary girl next door being put into an extraordinary situation. It's a situation that she tries to avoid, the people around her try to avoid, and you as a viewer knows she should avoid but can't help and stay to see what transpires.

If you're looking for a run of the mill slasher flick, a psychological thriller, or an action packed gore fest, I'm sorry but this isn't for you. However, if you're into the types of horror movies that take a simple, almost predictable concept and turns it on its' head in an unrelenting fashion, then look no further. This movie will stay with you for a few days for different reasons, but my biggest turn on was the feeling throughout the film, an homage to earlier times, and an evil that knows no bounds.
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10 minutes movie
Dean_DX13 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I have never seen a movie like this. I'm sorry to say this, but this is by far one of the most boring movies I've ever seen in my life.

The storyline is not that bad, but, it looks that the writer didn't have time to actually write something!! I'm sure that the screenplay doesn't have more than 20 sheets, because it's impossible...

Bad actings, bad ambientation, horrible screenplay, and, just to finish with greatness, 75 minutes of a young girl doing absolutely NOTHING!!! And after that 10 mins of "action", and that's all... The freakin' movie doesn't even has an ending!!! I'm just going to beg you something, please, for the love of God, don't waste 85 minutes of your life watching this!! I wish someone would tell me this before!!
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The Devil is in the Details, and the Classic Horror
spencergrande64 November 2009
The House of the Devil is a fastidiously detailed, pitch-perfect homage to 80's horror, that adheres to genre conventions while at the same time transcending them. Director Ti West understands what makes horror films work, that the horror is always more exciting when you don't know when to expect it. Jocelin Donahue plays Samantha, typical college-girl hoping to get a place of her own but without the cash to do so. She accepts a babysitting job that promises to pay well, and is then left in a creepy house in the middle of nowhere. Borrowing a page from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (and others) playbook, the been there, done that story is absolutely the point, complete with opening statistics promising a true story. Horror doesn't need to be complicated, just well executed. West builds dread and terror like a pro, understanding the classic Hitchcock sensibility that people fear what they don't see, and what they don't know (Lovecraft said so as well). In the face of torture porn and slasher flicks, where the only horror is the gore and the murder (and unnecessary soundtrack spikes), it is quite unsettling to be subjected to a thrill ride like this one.
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dull and full of anachronism
marymorrissey13 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
it figures that the LA Weekly would single this movie out for praise. It was DULL. And, yeah, the ending made no sense whatsoever. Nothing that the girl saw ought to have given her any sense that there was anything truly supernatural afoot. Unless you count her miraculously getting loose from her bonds! That was pretty convenient and not very imaginative. Tom Noonan's performance in reminded me of someone going over his lines just to see if he had them. Awful! The girl was alone on screen for most of the film and it was asking too much that she should carry the movie. I'm trying to remember what other film it is - I think one of the "alien" series - in which a character is scared witless, creeping about all paranoid in one scene, and in the next (way overly long) scene somehow decides the thing to do is to put on a walkman and just bop around carelessly until she bumps into the monster. This appeared to have been shot on film, for what that's worth, with inadequate light. The bulk of the story was pretty much pointless. They might as well have just grabbed the victim and tied her up as soon as her friend left. And how the hell was she supposed to have been impregnated? The "surprise ending" was straight out of "surprise ending central" for there surely is such a thing. You'd think you would at least be careful to avoid contemporary figures of speech like "I don't want anymore drama!" in a film set in the 80s. Mary Woronov was more or less OK. She didn't have a hell of a lot to work with, but she's quite used to that!
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"Lost 80s Classic" my ass.
max_dropout29 October 2009
This is a textbook example of style over substance. Some kid saw Grindhouse and decided to make a movie. So what? Stop pissing your pants. It's not that great.

The movie starts out with a few flecks of promise, but then essentially turns into an obvious tribute to Jocelin Donahue's cuteness. I'm not blaming Ti. I have a crush on her too after seeing this movie, but come on.

The House of the Devil is strictly amateur hour. The attempts at creating a mood piece fall flat on their face due to the fact that NOTHING HAPPENS. There's like one big beat, and that's about it. Successful films in this vein usually pepper nuance-of-dread throughout for the audience to follow, like bread crumbs. This film starves the audience to death.

It strives to recreate the tension of the original Black Christmas and Halloween, but doesn't come remotely close. Perhaps it's because this is a carbon copy of a carbon copy and guys like Carpenter and DePalma were borrowing from suspense originators like Hitchcock.

One scene in the film had me feeling like I was watching an episode of SyFy channel TV show "Scare Tactics." Why the director chooses to show the audience a gruesome scene behind a door at one particular point is baffling. I presume it was just a cheap attempt at breaking up what had become, by that point, a monotonous affair.

In the end, the payoff just simply isn't that good.

This isn't all bad, though. Tom Noonan is sufficiently creepy, and Jocelin Donahue is not only good in her part, but she's extensively easy on the eyes.

Otherwise, this script sinks so fast you'd think it was printed with lead ink. there are just too many stupid and illogical holes in the script to leave anyone with a brain satisfied with the ultimate outcome.

What promises to be a piece dedicated to the 80s wave of Satanic Paranoia ultimately ends up becoming a wack ripoff of Rosemary's Baby, with a measly ending that serves to remind how awesome "Race With The Devil" was and STILL IS by comparison.

I encourage real horror fans to see it so they can make up their own minds, but don't get lured in by the hype. This is not a good movie. Perhaps in an era where genre fans are offered so very little in terms of quality this might seem acceptable, but in the context of the entire history of horror, this movie blows.
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80's Horror Nostalgia done RIGHT!
RockPortReview19 February 2010
The House of the Devil (2009) 02/13/2010

The 1980's were a golden age for horror movies, and many filmmakers today try to recapture that magic in their own films. Director Ti West's film "The House of the Devil" is yet another example, and for the most part succeeds in his efforts. Making a period horror film for under a million dollars is in itself a great accomplishment. This movie is not without its flaws though.

The movie centers on Samantha, played quite well by Jocelin Donahue. She is a college sophomore looking to move into her own apartment and get away from the dorms and her inconsiderate roommate. Her best friend is Megan, complete with 80's hair and attitude. Samantha replies to an ad for a babysitter and sets up to meet the man on the phone, but he stands her up. Being that there are no cell phones we get to see long lost items like pay phones and rotary phones, ahh that brings me back. The man calls Samantha the next day to apologize and to offer her more money. Megan drives her over to the house and they meet a tall older man with a cane. He comes clean that its not you average babysitting job and ups her pay. She accepts $400 for a few hours of work.

As you might have guessed the movie is called "The House of the Devil" for a reason. Instead of babysitting a child, Samantha's job is to watch over "mother" who is in a second floor room. A great deal of the movie involves Samantha roaming the house and checking things out. Like most babysitters she's bored has some time to waste. She calls Megan a few times but she has yet to return home. We see that Megan's fate is one of films best and surprising horror scenes. This film has angered a lot of casual horror fans in the fact that there is not a lot that really happens. It's a very slow burn type of story and very atmospheric. This makes the last fifteen minutes of the film that more intense. That family has something horrific in store for Samantha when they return. My biggest gripe with the film is the completely illogical final minutes. Maybe that has something to do with the 80's time period but its just like, really?

All in all this film is made for a very specific audience and not many people will ever see it, but for director Ti West this is another stepping stone in what looks to be a growing career. He has most recently finished making Cabin Fever 2 and will be filming "The Innkeepers" soon. For horror fans he is definitely a talent to keep your eye on.
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The Devil has all the best details!
bobhartshorn26 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I really love this movie. It's superbly recreated 80's retro setting, and carefully built up tension & suspense had me hooked from the off, as this tale of a female student babysitting in a (brilliantly & beautifully exploited) creepy house for an even more creepy couple, quickly weaved it's measured, magical spell.

The grand-guignol finale jarred with me on the first watch, but repeat viewings have reshaped that initial reaction into a fully rounded appreciation of director Ti West's spot-on homage' to a by-gone era.

The cast are excellent (not least pre-stardom Greta Gerwig) and the attention to detail raises it several notches above lesser horrors aiming for the same aesthetic. HOTD also contains one of the best timed, and harshest second act shocks since 1960's Psycho. It'll knock your block off (its that good).

A 24 Karat modern horror classic!
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Too slow for it's own good.
maelzel-587-95514027 November 2009
This movie is not as good as some people says. I don't know how to explain... just like a bittersweet feeling? The early eighties feeling is very good, the acting and the locations are OK, the history wasn't bad... But i can't avoid thinking that this movie was made before, in a really better way... (is like a collage of different movies, the omen, devil's advocate, rosemary's baby...).

There's a lot of wasted scenes in the house, with no purpose, just silence and a girl looking around, searching for ... ?????? It's halfway into the movie, and nothing happens!!!! Fifteen minutes of classic 80's horror (i'm not a fan of gore, so i wasn't looking for blood, suspense movies works for me), whit a predictable ending. And that's all.

So, if you're looking for a really good 80's movie, go for some classic. This movie won't make history, if you want to watch it, go for it, but you may be disappointed.
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Just terrible
stormroller0019 November 2009
I appreciate the way the movie tried to build up to something climatic with its slow character and story development, but if you're going to do that at least make the ending entertaining.

The director gives it an old horror movie kind of feel, but fails to put any horror in it. At no point in this movie was I scared. The movie wasn't really even suspenseful. It failed at even making me care about any of the characters!

Its never a good sign when I have to continually ask myself "why am I watching this movie?" There really are no words for how bad this movie was.
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Suspense plus Satan... now that is freaky-deaky
jamescaverly1 November 2009
What is a scary movie? How do you scare people? There are many ways, right? In Evil Dead II (a classic among the genre) we see Ash going crazy... he throws a chainsaw to his hand (turned evil), announcing "Who's laughing now?" and blood splatters all over his face. It's one of my favorite shots of all times. However, I was never actually scared by it. The House of the Devil kept me on edge almost the entire time and legitimately scared the day lights out of me a number of times. Horror films rarely scare me when in the theaters (they're much more scary when watched on DVD at home) but this film made me hope it was almost over half way through, because my nerves were tingling my body. Why? Because we know the house she has entered is run by a satanic cult and the main character's naiveté makes here incredibly vulnerable. She puts herself in vulnerable situations and it made me nuts... and when scary goes down... scary goes down! Satan is the ultimate villain, and he makes an appearance with a bullet, but without showing his face. This movie is a throwback to the early 80s, environment-is-the-scary-thing style. Just enjoy it, it's really weird, classic, and fun... but best of all, your blood will be tingling.
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A huge disappointment
Superunknovvn6 January 2010
Ti West's idea to make "The House Of The Devil" look like a forgotten horror flick of the 80's without any ironic self-awareness seemed really cool. As promising as the trailer looked, the finished movie is a huge letdown.

West gets the look of an 80's horror flick right. The actresses and actors are cast well and even the music is almost right (with the drums sounding too modern and well-produced). The real weak point of "The House Of The Devil" is the script. There is waaaaaay too much exposition: A lot of walking around, uninteresting conversation and nothing much happening at all. If in the third act there was a big payoff to all that, the movie might have redeemed himself, but the climax is so boring and clichéd, you'll wonder why you had to sit through the 70 minutes or so that preceded it. In this last third of the movie West doesn't even stay true to 80's horror anymore: The main villains make-up looks like something out of "The Descent", the quick cuts suddenly turn "The House Of The Devil" into "SAW".

It seems, as if a lot of horror fans, who praise Ti West for this picture, are confusing the concept with the outcome. As great as the original idea was, as authentic as the posters and even the movie itself look, there is no thrill whatsoever in "The House Of The Devil". It's even more frustrating when you think about how cool this could have been. But Ti West has already established himself as a hack with his previous movies. This one is just further proof of his mediocrity.
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dybank14 November 2009
I'm the last guy who needs flashy edits, non-stop killing/gore and over-saturated colors, like the "Saw" sequels or the awful spat of recent remakes of the old-school horror - and I like 80's horror and 70's Drive-in exploitation, and I was led to believe that this would be in that vein. After hearing reviewers and people on Horror websites ejaculate over this movie, I decided to order it On Demand.

BUT THINGS HAPPEN IN THOSE MOVIES!!!!!! It is literally halfway into the movie that the first thing even happens, then it's another half an hour of watching the main character walk around bored. I'm not exaggerating, the "Oh, I'm so bored" sequence is about twenty minutes long.

And then something finally happens (over the hour mark) - OK, time for the payoff, right? Sooooo limp and quick.

If you really want to watch a blank-faced girl take half an hour to get a babysitting job, then sit around bored for another half an hour, then overcome the "horror" without too much difficulty, then HOUSE OF THE DEVIL is the movie for you! (to be fair, Tom Noonan was the one and only non-pathetic part of this movie, apparently the director didn't suck enough to bring him down too)

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One of the worst horror films of the decade
JSaruga29 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
As many of you, I read good and bad things before adventuring in to seeing this film. I shouldn't have done neither. This film brings out the worst clichés of horror movies of the 80's and turns them even more stupid. Awful script of a crappy story, rituals surrounding lunar eclipses? Come on man, even Michael Bay's space man sound more appealing... A looooooong time to build up and then...just a void, and you find yourself punching you in the face for being such an idiot for downloading it and seeing. If you are considering downloading and/or movie-going, just don't. Adopt a small pet or help the colorblind painting within the numbers. Either is much more scarier and intense than this movie. 1/10
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A good short film with 70 minutes of "filler"
damens17 May 2011
I don't understand that scene where she finds an apartment to rent - yes, it shows she needs money (as does the interminable amount of scenes showing her current living situation is ... ahem ... "untenable"), but none of this is necessary to the plot (they basically wrote a short B- grade student film and needed 70 minutes of "filler"). Why doesn't Tom Noonan initially keep their appointment, why does a knife slash from the level of someone lying down hit a large standing guy in the throat, why does it upset me that so much of a horror movie is utterly nonsensical and the heroes' actions are that of a blithering moron who has never seen a horror movie or been scared for a second in her life (well, that one's easy to answer - it's because it is incredibly lazy writing), why does it annoy me that so many horror fans think that this is something they need to settle for ?? No doubt the film-maker would say this is a pastiche of 1980's horror movies, and as such was MEANT to be bad, but the cynical part of me wants to say that until I've seen better from this film-maker, pastiches of bad 1980's horrors is where he should stay.
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This movie makes Manos: Hands of Fate seem like a good horror film
brailsford23 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Given there are some bad horror films out there, but I rented this from red box and still think that was too big an investment given how awful this film was.

The movie would have been better had 75% of the movie been removed as the vast majority of the film involved the main character sitting in a house doing stuff no one would care about like breaking lamps, ordering pizzas. I can understand this occasionally here and there to build suspense, but this went on and on from the point she end up in the house. The acting was also lacking believability and once the build up of suspense was fulfilled, the reward was the most boring satanic ritual sacrifice scene ever, making those 80 minutes of watching a stupid teenager hanging around a spooky mansion worthless. It really has nothing interesting to offer anyone.
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don't even bother
is439119 October 2009
the film was a painful uphill walk to an extremely weak ending. opted to watch at home on our cable networks "on demand" channel and were so glad we didn't pay full fare to sit in a theatre and be this disappointed. Spending 85 minutes building up this wretched film, and waiting for some sort of action (only surprise was a broken vase). Seems the poor folks that wrote the screenplay procrastinated until the last minute and then wrapped up with one of the most predictable, ridiculous endings i've seen in some time. Don't be fooled, plot twists are non-existent in this film. You know exactly what you're walking into, and you will most assuredly be angry with yourself for dropping the money for something this bad.
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much ado about nothing
alannasser4 February 2010
It's difficult to understand the fuss and relatively high rating of this movie. The first 20 or 30 minutes send mixed messages: the performers are fine and the editing and camera work function to prick up your thriller/horror sensibilities with the expectation that this is a build-up to something original and unhackneyed. The quirky atmosphere the director/writer/editor sets up is compelling.... for a while. The first sign of trouble is the pacing, which is slow and uneventful. The curious style of the movie engages you and can make you forget that nothing much is actually going on. I don't mean there's no action - I didn't expect action. It's simply that the thing goes on and on, preparing you for.... nothing much at all.

The baddies are overdirected and insufficiently subtle or menacing to create interest. What is intended to be the excitement, the payoff, happens in the last 20 or so minutes, and what is supposed to be scary is wholly unremarkable. The female lead is captured in a conventional way, terrorized in a conventional and by-this-time-boring way, escapes in a massively implausible way and is chased. That's it. She either gets away in the end, or she doesn't, I'll not say.

The film lacks energy. There are indeed moments of tension, but they are few and unrelated to much else that happens in the movie. Look, lots of viewers seemed to like this flick. Viewer reactions seemed to me to be in the highly overinterpretive mode. For me, it was a big disappointment. What came to mind when it was over was the song title: "Is That All There Is?"
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Suspense builds slowly and leads to a frantic finale
Seagalogist30 October 2009
I saw the trailer to this and liked the idea of it. First of all, fans of Rosemary's baby will love this. I feel like it will grow in popularity after it's cinema spell and become a bit of a cult classic. That's high praise but the film is not perfect.

Fans of horror may be disappointed. The first hour to 70 minutes is very slow and don't expect a high body count either! It does however leave you feeling dread, like a sense that the inevitable is coming yet it's only a question of when. The movie just falls down a bit by taking to long on that build up.

When the end begins, it all kicks off. Disturbing, graphic, twisted, scary...just a few words that come to mind. It really puts the pedal down and runs you over relentlessly. A couple of scary and real old school horror moments happen in the flash sequences near the end.

Overall, this movie belongs in the 80s, yet turns out to be a whole lot more sophisticated than 80s horror. Great movie, strong performances from the lead and the 'man of the house'. Horror fans check it out, fans of more suspenseful movies mark this as a must see!
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