“The House Of The Devil” (2009)


By Jerome Reuter

 It seems for the past few years a film directed by Ti West entitled The House Of The Devil has achieved massive amounts of praise. Truth be told, this is a film that deserves every bit of praise that’s been spoken about it.

Unlike a lot of other American horror films which have been released in the last 10 years, this one stands aside from the herd. This film does have it’s faults, but they’re minimal and quite easy to overlook. It’s quite easy  to explain why this film is so enjoyable .This is a work that appeals to the old time cult horror fans, and newcomers alike. West takes us back to the Satanic panic of the 1980’s, and gives us his take on the genre.

Even the opening title sequence reminds us of Lucio Fulci’s The House By The Cemetery  It does have that throwback element, but still manages to hold it’s own as an original vision. West should be applauded for his use of 16mm film stock, and his keen eye for detail with wardrobe and color. You’ll be thinking you’re in the 1980’s all over again, just be sure to not get that mullett.

Another element this film possesses is West’s ability to build suspense. Much like a lot of his other works, he knows how to pace a movie at a slow boil, and not bore the viewer. The film hides the intentions of it’s antagonist until the films third and final act. This leaves the audience to ponder the events of the film for themselves. You’ll be on the edge of your seat during this one.

Speaking of the films antagonist, he’s played by actor Tom Noonan. Some of you might remember him as the Frances Dollarhyde in the 1986 film Manhunter. No exaggeration, he gives one of the best performances of his career in this one.

I can’t wait to see what other films West has planned in the future. It seems the lessons taught by the great auteurs of the past have a pupil . American horror might finally be back on the right track after so many lackluster efforts. Perhaps, we’re finally being given the renaissance we’ve been hoping for.


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