Sunday, December 20, 2009

The House of the Devil (2009)

Written and Directed by Ti West
Starring Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, Greta Gerwig, A.J. Bowen
Rated R, 95 minutes
From MPI Media Group
Official movie site

One of the best horror films of 2009, The House of the Devil is a creepy throwback and deliberate homage to films of the early 1980s.

The plot is rather simple: Sam (Donahue) is a young college student in need of extra cash for a new apartment. She responds to a flyer seeking a babysitter, and having no car of her own, asks her good friend Megan (Gerwig) to drive her to the job.

They find that the location of the job is an isolated creepy old house. Soon Sam meets Mr. Ulman (Noonan) who confesses that there is no baby, but that Sam is there to "watch" his elderly invalid mother. Despite grave misgivings, and thanks in large part to Mr. Ulman's offer of cash, Sam agrees to stay the night so that Ulman and his equally creepy wife (Woronov) may attend a very important gathering involving the full eclipse of the moon.

Megan reluctantly leaves her friend, and Sam's night of horror begins. Slowly she realizes that there is something terribly wrong in the house.

Directed with dead-on restraint by West, he does a terrific job of building a sheer sense of dread. The creep factor keeps amping up as the audience, along with Sam, slowly unravels the mystery of what the true purpose of her "job" is, until we are treated to a real roller-coaster of a final 15 minutes or so. The actors all do a great job as well, with special recognition for Donahue's wonderfully understated performance. Although there are a few shocking scenes and a little blood towards the end, it is not a gore-fest that would turn off fans of classic horror.

The DVD and Blu Ray drops on February 2, 2010.

If you have not seen this film, and are a fan of classic 70s and 80s horror, I believe you will really dig The House of the Devil. Check it out!

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