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The House of the Devil (2009) ***1/2

November 3, 2009

This is the new film I recommend to nearly everyone I talk to!  There’s so much to say about this new 70s horror homage from director Ti West.  If I were to play this is a set between Carrie and John Carpenter’s Halloween, you wouldn’t know that House of the Devil came out in 2009.

This film stars newcomer Jocelin Donahue as Samantha, a college sophomore who’s struggling to make her first month’s rent.  She picks up a job babysitting for Tom Noonan’s character Mr. Ulman (whose rendition of Jack the Ripper on Last Action Hero still haunts my dreams) out in the country on the night of a full lunar eclipse.  The only catch is Mr. Ulman lied to Samantha, there’s no child in need of babysitting, he just wants her to sit there while his mother-in-law sleeps upstairs.  Despite her better judgement, Samantha stays because she needs the money.  The film really gets good when we find out that companionship for “mother” isn’t the reason they want Samantha in the house!  YES!

Ti West evokes the great horror filmmakers of the 70s and 80s to produce this suspense-filled occult indie that’s sure to be a Halloween must-watch for years to come.  Right now, House of the Devil is on an extremely limited release, so if it’s not playing in your city, check it out for $6.99 on-demand from your cable/satellite provider.  That’s a great deal, AND it’s very profitable for up-and-coming independent film companies and directors!

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