Isaacs Picture Conclusions

THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (2009) FOUR TOP HATS

Every review of this movie usually opens with “You’re either going to love it or hate it”. I REALLY liked this movie and………. it almost got me scared…. (Not like The Descent, shit your pants a couple of times Scared) but the atmosphere kind of had me feeling a little weirded out. As in: “if I was watching this movie at someone else’s house when I was in my teens I would have probably been feeling like I had the heebie jeebies pretty bad”. So, with that, this director, Ti West, has created a throwback-to-the-80s-supernatural-the-devil-scares-you movie, complete with the plot, clothing, music, score, adult actors and credits (which would put me in my teens) (and probably the director too {I assume}).

The synopsis here (SPOILER):  young, frosh, college waif gets a babysitting job at creepy old house in the sticks during the lunar eclipse, the homeowners are Satan worshipping creeps looking for a nice, naïve, young waif to inseminate with the devil’s baby during said eclipse.

From the outset this movie was cool to me, interesting camera angles, retro film grade, wicked opening credits. The build up to the babysitting job did it for me, then there’s an eerie 80’s dance number exploration through the old house giving some very creative shots of the house, some other victims, a sacrifice room, creepy hair in the tub, etc. It all really worked well. Then we get to the third act and, I thought< it really delivered with a conclusion I saw coming 20 minutes away, but – hey – I enjoyed the whole thing.

There’s one thing to note here though – there’s basically NO action. It’s “atmospheric”, so to speak, with some wicked-creative work by the director and the guy behind the camera. There’s probably too much uninteresting dialogue for most people, but it didn’t bother me.  If you’ve seen any Quentin Tarantino movie ever made, you either accept too much dialogue in the context of the film, or it ruins it for you. So – in the case of this movie, it was a minor distraction but didn’t cause me too much grief.

I really liked the two lead actresses and hope they move on to some good careers (hopefully in the horror industry). A.J. Bowen, the best thing from The Signal, gets a nice role here, but too little time; conversely, one of the least attractive people ever to grace the screen, Mary Woronov, gets too much. Good-ole-staple-of-every-movie Tom Noonan has an interesting role.

If you’re in for a good movie that isn’t a “popcorn” horror, nor a Saw or Hostel gore-o-rama, something more like the Shining and Warlock had a baby (nice Mary Woronov reference), then you’ve got a cool little horror here that (despite what you can see on IMDB) I haven’t met anyone who’s seen it that doesn’t “dig it to the max”.

Why only four top hats? It probably could’ve used a little bit less talking and maybe a little bit more action, but – overall – pretty cool.

2 comments

  1. Pingback: THE INNKEEPERS (2011) FOUR TOP HATS | Isaacs Picture Conclusions

  2. Pingback: Friday Night Movie Recommendation: The House of The Devil | The Creative Fox Den

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