|October 30, 2009|
|MPI Media Group|
Rated R for some bloody violence
|The House Of The Devil
Ti West achieves some big strides with his horror film “The House of the Devil”. For being released in 2009, West does an expert job in making the film feel like it’s from the 80’s, in film quality and set pieces. There’s nothing wrong with the performance from Jocelin Donahue, as Sam, who wanders the house in true horror genre fashion but the rest of the cast suffers, especially Greta Gerwig, whose lines tend to come from nowhere and hit misplaced every time. Tom Noonan’s performance is muddled with over exaggeration, and in doing so, loses all subtly, becoming a caricature of a creepy home owner. Another problem West strikes is the uneven nature of the action.
“The House of the Devil” is a very quiet film and although this helps with the unease created for the audience, there is very little payoff. The audience expects spooks from time to time and instead, West keeps all of the surprises for the end, meaning 75 minutes into the plot, you’ve experienced very little actual scares. West leans on gore as a crutch and despite the quality of the make-up, the gore screams unnecessary. Had West been able to produce more visceral scares and spread them evenly throughout the film, “The House of the Devil” could have been a much more memorable film. Instead, it remains an average horror flick, successfully visually produced, but lacking in many of the surrounding areas.