Friday, 9 April 2010

The House Of The Devil

What makes The House Of The Devil, just out on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK, one of the best horror movies of the last few decades isn't only the film's lovingly retro recreation of 70s and 80s horror cinema, but the lengths its writer-director Ti West (Cabin Fever 2) goes to to eke the suspense out from this simple story of determined, impoverish college student Samantha (Jocelin Donahue, terrific) who agrees to babysit for a creepy couple (Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov) on the night of a lunar eclipse with devilish consequences, spending three-quarters of the film's running time building tension, before finally unleashing a bloody denouement of unrelenting terror. West brings a David Fincher-like precision to this 80s-set homage, using 16mm film stock, zooms rather than dolly shots, as well as period framing and editing techniques. And yet West's future cult classic never feels like a parody. Rather, it's a movie lost in time, now available to scare the bejesus out of you.


Gerard said...

Picked this up for a friend in NY. Am very keen to check it out for myself.

Meanwhile, have you heard of Amer? As genuine a giallo as I've seen in years. Saw it at the MoMA's New Directors New Films festival. Impressive.

Mark Salisbury said...

I have. Argento/Giallo expert Alan Jones is a fan and they showed it at the Glasgow Frightfest earlier in the year.

Gerard said...

An Argento/Giallo expert? What a job!

And does that mean you were able to catch it?

Mark Salisbury said...

No, didn't make it up to Scotland. Expect it'll hit DVD here soon enough.

I've known Alan for years, and I read him before that in the pages of CFQ and Starburst. He's THE Giallo Journo.