It”s time to roll a fatty and smoke it to your head, maybe do some meditation or yoga, clear your head and relax. Turn down all the lights and watch this flick when you”re alone in your house. It will get to you.
House of the Devil is a slow burn, quite suspenseful in the tradition of classic slashers like When A Stranger Calls and Black Christmas. In fact, the film makers have gone to obvious lengths to make this a period piece both in the movie”s setting and the entire presentation of the film. The photography looks like a late seventies or early eighties slasher film. The color is more earth tones with browns and dark wood. And deep pools of black during night scenes. The titles and end credits share this aesthetic and including the poster art, the movie has a great retro presentation. More so than Planet Terror, which is another movie paying homage to exploitation films, House of the Devil actually looks authentic and rather than simply being an homage in tone or plot or idea, is convincing as a genuine vintage slasher. This has to be half of the fun of the movie, even if it”s far more subtle than a movie like Black Dynamite.
The movie is based on supposed real events during a lunar eclipse. A college girl takes a job babysitting at an old creepy house at zero notice so she can pay for a damage deposit on her new online casinos apartment. Will she survive the night?
Without giving too much away, the movie”s themed threat is hinted at in the title and is prefaced at the beginning of the movie that we might be seeing some Satanic cults. Hopefully you”ll be engaged by the direction of the suspense and not bored to tears. A movie like this could prove to be very engaging but also suffers from the possibility that today”s audience will have too short of an attention span to make it through.
If you”ve got friends over and people are talking and hanging out, don”t put this on, keep it for later. Some movies need to be enjoyed at a specific time and place. Give it a chance.
The special features are fairly sparse with only one featurette that is more of a montage of incidental filming on set than anything informative. There are three deleted scenes as well, but no commentary.