Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The House of The Devil Review
In the tradition of grindhouse films, and classic horror films of the 70’s and 80’s this 2009 film jumped onto my radar, and only now am I reviewing it for this site. The House of the Devil combines several different elements from classic films to make a relatively new story, with great overall pacing, good character points, and plenty of gore, blood, and violence. Although there were moments that were marred with question marks, and flashes of what appears to be “Davey Havok” really made me cringe, the movie packs a good punch.
The plot of the film revolves around a college student that needs a new job, and accepts a job in a weird house. The movie sets up slowly, it definitely begs to watch, despite the slow build, but it starts to really climax in the second and third act. As she accepts the job, she slowly is drugged, and then tortured, but she manages to do what other vixens in peril don’t, fights back immediately.
The setting of the film is really important, a college town with a full moon, and what appears to be a normal family in need of a babysitter. The film starts and ends like a classic 70’s exploitation film with titles and actors being paused and framed in classic form. I liked the way the picture is filmed, and the cameras motions and edits coincide quickly with musical cues that are classic.
The movie has a good amount of blood, but not necessarily to the point of excess. It’s done in a believable fashion, so by the time the screen is crimson, you buy into the possibility that the victim is indeed injured, not necessarily a latex monster of blood. I liked the subtlety to the horror elements, while not totally making you disbelieve that the killers and villains are too bright for the story.
The camera angles and the music makes this film better than most horror films offered in recent years, and I’m surprised more people didn’t see this film upon its release. The tension really builds, despite the clichés that seem to abound in the film, and by the time the final points are revealed and the last line of the film is revealed, you really get involved with the story telling and horrors of the film.
Is The House of the Devil a Scary Film? Yes.
Emphatically, this film is quite scary, and it does a lot of things correctly. It slow builds to a great climax, which is not too unbelievable, it states that it’s based on true events, but you don’t really know what events, and the plot never treats you like a complete idiot.
The visuals, the music, the editing, and the whole overall tone make this film quite good. I see the problems that might abound, but I like it. It has a good score, a great pace, and enough of a throwback to the classic horror movies most of its intended audience grew up on, to make it better than most mainstream offerings.
I recommended The House of the Devil as a great addition to the horror genre. I enjoyed it, and thought it was worthwhile indeed. Check it out, and make sure you have the sound up, to listen to the award winning score, and sound effects that make this film better than 90% of the movies I’ve reviewed up to this point. 90% ok maybe only 70%.