DVD The House of the Devil [DVD] (DVD 6271710),
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The House of the Devil [DVD]
Region 1 USA/CA (
A coed struggling to pay her rent ends up taking the wrong part-time job in writer-director Ti West's old-school, 1980s-set horror flick THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) is a sweet-natured and retiring young woman, unlike her rambunctious, loud, and self-assured best buddy, Megan (mumblecore stalwart Greta Gerwig). After moving into a new apartment, Samantha is desperate for a way to make a few more bucks. When Mr. Ulman (Tom Noonan) comes on campus looking for a babysitter, Samantha jumps at the opportunity. Once she convinces Megan to give her a ride to the creepy old Ulman house, Samantha learns that the job is not quite what was advertised--Ulman and his wife (Mary Woronov) don't even have a child. He tells Samantha that she just has to stay in the house with his elderly mother-in-law while he and the missus go out to celebrate the lunar eclipse. When she balks at the change of plans, he offers her more money. As the night goes on, it becomes clear that Samantha is a much bigger part of the Ulmans' plans for the evening than she would ever want to be. West established his genre credentials with low-budget cult favorites THE ROOST (which also starred Noonan) and TRIGGER MAN. THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL also stars A.J. Bowen and Dee Wallace. The movie had its world premiere in the Midnight section of the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.
Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, Greta Gerwig, AJ Bowen, Jocelin Donahue
4 stars out of 5 -- "Carefully, perfectly, beautifully built occult horror follows the roadmap of the early '70s and '80s Indie Screams with reverent precision and the occasional, wise reference to the cannon."
"[West] has come up with a period pastiche that mimics the low-res vibe and look of early-1980s horror....And he's done so with more shiver than splat."
New York Times
"[W]riter-director Ti West shrewdly uses our entire sense memory of horror movie experiences to bring his seen-it-all audience to a jittery state of unnerving, shoe-dropping anticipation."
Los Angeles Times
"[P]alpably unnerving....Director Ti West has faithfully fashioned a throwback to classic occult horror films of the '70s and '80s."
"From the opening statistic about documented instances of devil-worship, West aims for a mix of the plausible and the ridiculous..." -- Grade: B+
"West stretches the suspense to an almost ludicrous extent, so that every clink and clomp makes you absolutely mental..."
Theres wit but never a wink in this smartly shot production, which pays homage to the 1980s without fetishizing the era. -- Grade: B+
"This film may provide an introduction for some audience members to the Hitchcockian definition of suspense: It's the anticipation, not the happening, that's the fun."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "The performances are as genuine as the film's style, especially from Donahue as the adorable and typical 80s teen..."
4 stars out of 5 -- "HOUSE keeps you guessing which way the sneaky plot is going, all adding up to a satisfying shocker."
"Shot on exquisitely shaded 16mm....THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL's main section is pleasurably nerve-racking, an extended soak in gothic atmosphere."
Sight and Sound
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