Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Weeks Too Late: House of the Devil

House of the Devil. Written & Directed by Ti West.

Preconceptions: Wee! I was pumped when this movie finally came out on DVD. This review is more than a few weeks too late to be relevant, but I missed the very limited screenings. House of the Devil is set in the 1980's and is supposed to look like one of those great 70's-80's Satanic horror movies. I loved this type of movie growing up and the idea of seeing a new one written with modern sensibilities and technology was exciting.

General Review: Dammit horror movies, why do I keep letting you hit me? I keep getting worked up about movies that look neat and scary and I end up with blue ovaries. All I wanted was a stylized movie about Satanists and this just wasn't delivered.

What was delivered, you ask? Well. A whole lot of prancing around a house (admittedly a very cool looking scary house that I want to live in). The movie might as well have been called House of Hanging Out. I kept telling myself it was to build suspense. I told myself this for nearly an hour. I felt very little suspense and very much bored. The movie drags along for the first hour and ten minutes, has a brief 15 minutes of action (mostly running around the house rather than prancing). This is followed by an epilogue that is supposed to be a big dramatic crescendo of score and a reveal, but is as flat as day old pop.

I will give this movie a few brief bits of praise. There was almost no running around in forests bleeding. I thought the movie was going to be ALL running around in forests bleeding, so this was a pleasant surprise. While Ti West can't seem to write something I care about he really did capture the look of the 80's horror movies. Those of you who, like me, spent their childhood renting every movie down the horror isle will really appreciate the choice of shots and filters (oh and actors, the gals in this looked perfect).

Random Thoughts: While discussing the lack of Satan (or even Stan) in this movie with Matt (one of my movie going companions) he commented: More Devil! More Paranormal Activity! More Tom Waits. I couldn't agree more.

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