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.

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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.

IMDB.com has the House of the Devil rated at 6.4, I have it rated at 8.6, so yeah I loved it.

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About Ray Marek III 243 Articles
I am a lifelong horror fan. I have written for a few web sites, Kung-Fu Comrades, Nightfall Unlimited and Rage of Rayzor. Freddy's Revenge was the first Horror Film I watched, I was 5. When my mom found out I liked horror films, she began challenging me. Soon to follow were the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead. Horror is in my blood, I want to share that with you...my blood...horror. I write unpublished comics. Lifelong dream is to write comics for a major comic book publisher or build my own comic book company.