Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Phil's Horror Watch, Day 3: Phil watches THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (2009)-October 3, 2011

Welcome back to day three of my horror film marathon! As I stated in my two previous blogs, I'll be watching one horror film each day until Halloween! Tonight's film is a love letter to early 80's horror films, and it was one of my Top 10 Horror Films of 2009. Director Ti West created a truly underrated horror film that you, my faithful followers, must see! So let me just say that THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL is one of my favorite horror films and it demands to be seen!

Theatrical Movie Poster (2009)
Set in the early 1980's, young sophomore college student Samantha Hughes (Jocelin Donahue) takes a job babysitting so she can raise money for her rent. Her best friend Megan (Greta Gerwig) drives her out to a remote home belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Ulman (Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov). Mr. Ulman informs Samantha that she will actually be watching over his mother, who is up in a second floor room. To compensate his deciet, he'll pay Samantha $400. But there is something amiss in the house, and soon she discovers a horrifying secret that could cost her her life.

West does an extraordinary job of recreating the look and feel of the early 80's. From wardrobe to technology (look at the size of Samantha's walkman), West doesn't overlook any details. Pay phones and rotary phones abound, zooming in and out scenes instead of using a dolly, the classic freeze frames during the opening credits and the awesome 80's Casio keyboard soundtrack brings it all together. After viewing the film, you'd swear that it's 1984 and you're in the middle of watching a video that you got from Blockbuster! Donahue does a great a job of acting in the film, and her look and mannerism is 80's perfection. Woronov is amazing as always, and Noonan is equally creepy as well. The whole film works on your suspension of disbelief, but once the opening scenes start, you'll already be transported back in time when video horror films were inspiring future filmmakers like West, Eli Roth, James Wan and others. The film had a limited release in select theaters on October 30, 2009, and was issued on Blu-Ray and DVD on February 2, 2010.

THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL is a perfect example of 80's horror nostalgia done right! From beginning to end, you won't find a better horror film that takes place in the 1980's, that is unless it is a horror film from the 1980's. Even then, it's hard to tell the which is real and which is recreated. Thanks to director Ti West, you'll have to find that one out on your own.

THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL is currently available on Blu-Ray and DVD (no VHS, sorry) from Dark Sky Films. To purchase a copy, visit their website at http://www.darkskyfilms.com/

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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