Thursday, February 18, 2010

Quick Review:The House of The Devil


During the 1980s, over 70% of American adults believed in the existence of abusive satanic cults. Another 30% rationalized the lack of evidence due to government cover ups...the following is based on true unexplained events. This is the first thing you see when you watch Ti West's House of the Devil and gets you in the mindset you need for this.Taking place sometime in 80's, this film really feels like it was made in the 80's.The HAIR!!outfits,settings,camera shots and even the music take you back 30 years in time.
College sophmore Samantha(the adorable Jocelin Donahue)desperate for money after getting a new apartment,takes what she thinks is an easy baby-sitting job at the isolated mansion of the Ulman family.

I have already heard people saying that this movie was too slow,boring and uneventful and I completely disagree with all of that.Ti West builds tension slowly but surely as he crafts a smart,scary and unnerving experience instead of relying on the shock scares we see too much of nowadays.The atmosphere and mood he creates here is a pleasure.

We meet the very creepy Ulman family,who right from the get-go don't seem right.Mr Ulman(Tom Noonan) is smooth talking and seems to be missing a screw somewhere,his wife Mrs Ulman is equally as strange but Sam is so desperate for money she is able to overlook this. We have numerous foreboding shots of the mansion,from the outside to the inside as Sam wonders through most of the rooms of this big,dark and eery house.Ti West with all these shots was able to make the house in itself a character which is brillant.We the viewer know something isn't right from the get- go but don't know what or when or where something bad will befall Sam. Since this takes place is the 80's there are no cellphones or facebook updates and this creates a brillant sense of isolation.We are KEPT on edge and unnerved for most of the time just waiting for shit to hit the fan,for Sam to feel the heat,And when it does it is well worth the wait with all the mood and atmosphere setting that prevously went on.West couldn't have crafted it much better than this,it takes talent to make a film like this.

Performances were also very good,newcomer Jocelin Donahue(Sam) was very likable,downright adorable and easy to root for.I hope we see more of her in the future.Tom Noonan(Mr Ulmsn) is wonderful,he demands attention the way he so smoothly talks.Mary Woronov plays Mrs Ulman and also does a good job of coming across as a creepy older lady.Small role also by Dee Wallace as the landland.

Ti West is definitely someone to keep an eye out for in the future.I dig his slowburn style and the fact that he relies more on atmosphere and mood.House of the devil definitely delivered and is a nice return to early's 80s classic horror
9/10

3 comments:

Geof said...

I just got this in the mail tonight, so I will return to comment this weekend.

Geof said...

Told you I'd be back! I liked this film, but it was a bit overhyped for me. Your review is dead-on. It was great to feel that whole throwback feeling again but it is not on my "film of the year" category.

My fav part: "Aren't you the babysitter?"

Erik said...

Thanks,yeah it probably was a bit overhyped by some,loved it though.Ti West has some skills!

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