Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Horrors of October 2013 - The House of the Devil (#29)

The House of the Devil (2009)

A college girl scrounging up money to pay the rent for her new apartment takes a babysitting offer, only to find out that nothing is what it seems. Writer/director Ti West is like ordering a side of french fries drenched by a lukewarm mayo topping; he's an acquired taste for horror fans. He greatly favors a pacing structure that would cause heart attacks for any viewer that is secretly a snail. Here, there's a long stretch devoted to the girl limitedly exploring the ins and outs of the house before finally smashing her way to a couple of clues, all after a hour's worth of belated buildup for a 90 minute flick (95 if you include the slow ending credits). West enjoys baiting his viewers, keeping them bathed in the cold tones of the picture, in order to just produce a couple of reputable scares; you can literally count them only using one hand. The acting is fine all-around and the nice throwback production style to 70s and 80s horror is inventive but the utter lack of audience participation, plus the haphazardly controlled finale, makes it not enjoyable enough to warrant a second viewing or a recommendation. Personally, I feel THE INNKEEPERS is a better film to immerse yourself in the mind of West. There's also his tiny short film in V/H/S, if you can't stand his work at feature length.


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