The House of the Devil (2009)
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- 95 min.
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This excellent little film is a loving homage to the classic 70s and 80s slasher and supernatural horror flicks, complete with 80s electronic soundtrack, chunky yellow opening credits with freeze frames and grainy, washed out cinematography, but with a couple of distinct advantages: first and foremost the acting is largely excellent including Tom Noonan - my favourite screen psychopath in "Manhunter", indie chick of the moment Greta Gerwig, and unknown but beautiful actress/model Jocelin Donohue (very easy to watch). Secondly the special effects when they come are more sophisticated than the bright red paint of latter days. The pacing and build of tension is excellent, only let down by a fairly standard final 15 of straightforward blood letting that is true to the horror tropes but feels a little pedestrian now. Nice epilogue though. If, like Ti West, you have a hankering for the old school, you'll love what he's managed to achieve here.
A wonderful slow-burn horror film that pays off in the end. However, the middle may be a bit too slow, lots of long shots, and even though I understand their purpose, they drag a bit much.
The first half has great build-up and really tense scenes. Once the film blows up it gets a little disappointing with its incredibly paper-thin and been-there-done-that plot.
Nothing extraordinary, but it's still a fun and worthwhile horror film to watch.
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In 3 official lists
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This movie ranks #98 in The New Cult Canon
This movie ranks #101 in They Shoot Zombies, Don't They?
This movie ranks #792 in The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films