The House Of The Devil (18)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Mar 16 2010It’s 1983, a time when every leafy US suburb had its own Satanic death cult to contend with. Jocelin Donahue makes for a textbook scream queen as cash-strapped undergrad Samantha, who drives out to a babysitting gig with girlfriend Megan (mumble queen Greta Gerwig) only to end up having ram’s blood poured down her throat by a family of grotesques wrapped in muslin bed sheets. Though writer-director Ti West tips his hat to the grungy ’80s slashers of Wes Craven and John Carpenter, ‘The House of the Devil’ also manages to emulate the suspense tactics of Hitchcock and Polanski, as the bulk of its runtime is taken up by Donahue tiptoeing through the shadows of an empty house to a soundtrack of creaking doors and peculiar thuds. And even if we might titter at our heroine’s high-waisted stonewash jeans and orange, sponge-eared headphones propped over a Farrah Fawcett ’do, the film’s nostalgic design is subtle enough not to dampen the seriously sinister atmospherics.
Author: David Jenkins