Sunday, February 28, 2010
House of the Devil- Review
there are some spoilers, so be warned
It is human nature to not appreciate something until it is gone. We make fun of the current trend, only to feel nostalgic later. Horror movies can be the same way. Unfortunately many times that nostalgia for a film we viewed as a child turns into a bitter taste of reality when we watch it again. Director Ti West decided to ride that wave of nostalgia into the studio and created a little horror film called House of the Devil. House of the Devil is set sometime in the 1980s and uses techniques and equipment from that era. West avoids and humor, twists, or satire and gives us just a straight out 80s style satanic horror film.
The plot concerns Samantha, a college student who has just rented her first apartment. Now all she has to do is find a way to pay for it. Desperate for cash, she takes a job as a babysitter for a strange couple that live on the outskirts of town. Once there she learns that there is no baby to sit, but instead she is to watch over an elderly mother. Her best friend and ride, Megan, tries to convince her to leave but the couple offers her more money so she accepts. On her way home Megan comes to a sudden and bloody end at the hands of a mysterious stranger.
Strange things start to happen as soon as Samantha is alone. Unable to contact Megan her fear grows. She orders a pizza and it is delivered by the same stranger who killed Megan. The pizza is spiked and soon afterwards, just as a lunar eclipse is beginning, Samantha passes out. She wakes up tied hand and foot and about to be sacrificed by the weird family.
West does a good job of capturing the feel of the '80s. It would be easy to go too far and make the movie look hokey, but as it is, House of the Devil could play in an '80s horror marathon and fit right in. The music is just right for the decade. Not content to use standards, he instead gives us great songs like "One of Our Submarines is Missing." Remember that one? The hair also screams pure '80s. He didn't go big prom night hair, but instead used hair styles that the average college kid would be wearing back then.