Review: The House of the Devil (2009)

A couple of years ago, I was working on my own personal, Rayzor’s Top 100 Horror Film’s.  I plan on posting the entire list throughout October.  But, before I began putting the list together, I sat and watched a bunch of newer horror films and some I had passed.  I remember the first day, it was my son’s naptime and I had a double feature.  I called it a “Naptime Double Feature” and it was called that because I had to watch these movies while my son was taking a nap.  He was young and could not handle horror movie, I am talking 2 or 3 years old.  I decided to watch a movie from the 1980’s and a movie that took place in the early 1980’s.  I finally got to see a film called John Carpenters Prince of Darkness from 1987.  I am not sure how this one got away from me.  I never go the chance to review the movie, it did not make the top 100 cut that year.  The other film I watched might make the cut, The House of the Devil and it did.  I don’t recall where it fell, but the House of the Devil opened me up to an entire new world of horror.

Let me begin by saying, The House of the Devil had been in my Netflix queue for a long time, it is no longer on Netflix, but you can find it streaming on Hulu.  I am not sure what turned me on to watching it, but I finally got around to it.  I also believe that one of the reason’s I did not watch it, it sounded cheesy and the title alone was very generic, to me anyway.  The title reeks of the 70s satanic panic, which isn’t a bad thing, but when you see the year 2009 beside it, you think, “this could be cheesy.”  Or is that just me?

This film is described as having combines elements of both the slasher and haunted house film and using the “satanic panic” of the 1970s and 1980s as the main plot.  It starts every slow and has a certain creep factor deeper into the movie.  The plot is about a college girl, sophmore who needs out of her dorm because of an awful room mate.  She does not have much money so she takes a baby sitting job.  Seems kind of generic, but it works, the film was made in 2009 but Ti West did an awesome job of making it feel like it was a late 1970’s or early 1980’s horror film, even the credits did a lot for me.  Something about the tone of the movie reminded me of Black Christmas for some reason, the movies really are not similar.  It is a style long dead but effective, the slow building of the plot and the payoff at the end.  That is what to expect from The House of the Devil.  Terrific cinematography, I cannot say enough.



I look forward to more from Ti West, I really enjoyed the first film and I have seen two others, the Innkeepers and the Sacrament, both good.  Jocelin Donahue was the lead in this film and I thought she was great and believable, I really liked her.  Not to mention she is extremely cute, yeah that’s right, cute.  I may be wrong but I think she could be a lot bigger than she is, well anyway great for this part.

I would say check this movie out, I do recommend it highly.  I will try to find a spot for this on the Horror Syndicate’s Top 100 Horror Films list coming in October.  When watching it, don’t give up, it certainly is a slow burn.  It is available on Hulu and you can watch it instantly with a Hulu Plus account.  Shortly after seeing the House of the Devil I bought a copy of my own.  I still need to own the Blu Ray, but DVD will do for now.

I love this poster as well, they really hit the mark, trying to make everything look, “retro”.

Check out the trailer, if you have not seen the film and the trailer doesn’t suck you in, then…I don’t know what to tell you. has the House of the Devil rated at 6.4, I have it rated at 8.6, so yeah I loved it.




About Ray Marek III 273 Articles
Who am I? I am a widower now, father of two amazing children. I co-created the website, Nightfall Unlimited with a good friend of mine. Nightfall Unlimited was a great learning experience for me and I learned a lot from so many great people. I had the chance to dip my toes into blogging and even social networking. Now, we are here, the Horror Syndicate is nearly a year old and we are having fun! There is so much more about me. I hate this phrase, but I am an aspiring comic book writer. Problems with finding artists and getting published have held me back. Writing comics has been a dream for, well as long as I can remember. Now I am writing with a great team, Apogee Comics and hopefully we will make some noise in the same way Image comics did in the 1990s. One day, Rage of Rayzor and the Horror Syndicate will lead me to my dream. Support me, by sharing this site, liking and sharing posts, even following me on twitter would help @Rayzor_33. But you want to know about the horror…right? I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. When my little brother was 2, I was 10, so were talking 1990. He was introduced to Halloween and I made him believe Haddonfield, IL was a real place. We lived in Illinois at the time and this terrified him. After the intial shock, he grew older and more interested in horror films. When he was 8, we went to the local video store and made our way to the horror section. We started with Alien and worked our way through the alphabet of horror. That day we basically started our course in horror. Since then, I have built a nice horror film collection of my own and started a Facebook Horror Group, The Horror Movie Massacre. I wrote for Nightfall and Rage of Rayzor, realized there is a lot of horror content I wanted to put out. So, I drafted some fellow horror fans to make a site, run by fans, for fans and here we are. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)