The House of the Devil (2009)

Directed by Ti West

#60
0

For my 60th installment, I’m covering one of my favorite horror films. For many, this film is too much of a slow-burn. Common adjectives running through IMDB user reviews include “borefest,” “waste of my precious time,” “dull and full of anachronism.” I will acknowledge that this film moves at a much more leisurely pace than your average horror film. But wouldn’t you say that many films in this genre suffer from the opposite problem? Often jumping straight into the action with little to no concern for character development or story.

In stark contrast to many of the other films in this collection, this film relies very little on gore and violence. It does eventually make an appearance, but not without first taking special care to guide us there and bring us closer to the characters along the way, making it all the more impactful once it does finally kick in.

The majority of the film is carried entirely by MOOOOOOOD (all-caps, bolding, and extra “Os” intentional). Shot on 16mm and labored over obsessively, this film looks and feels incredible. The quality of the image and the cinematography are both well above par for the genre. It somehow manages to avoid all of the conventional tropes of a period piece — particularly one set in the ’80s — and instead feels like an honest love letter to the decade and the many familiar stylistic flourishes it’s so inspired by.

— B

My rating: 9/10

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