The House of the Devil 2009 ***


An early work from writer/director Ty West, The House of the Devil is an accomplished tribute to early 80’s horror movies. The set-up is foreboding; Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) gets a babysitting job at a remote and scary looking house; she travels out with her pal Megan (Greta Gerwig), but finds no baby; instead Mrs and Mars Ulman (genre favourites Tom Noonan and Mary Wonorov) offer her four hundred dollars to stay in the house overnight. The true nature of the deception involves a satanic ritual, and Greta Gerwig’s character is one of the first to find herself in trouble. West clearly loves this kind of film, finding room for Dee Wallace (The Howling) as well as lots of deliberately dated film grammar, including some Mario Bava-type zooms. Lena Dunham provides the voice of the 911 operator.


Leave a Reply