Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #116 The House of the Devil

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Movie #116 The House of the Devil

(2009, US, d. Ti West)

I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand all I can see is a suspenseful but repetitive movie with no use for its plot. On the other hand I see a movie that was constructed very specifically as an homage to the horror films of the early 1980’s. Every part of the movie – from the casting decisions to cinematography to costume designs to props to script to direction to marketing- is borrowed straight from aspects of late 70’s/early 80’s horror films. Now I’m not going to act like I’ve seen a lot of the movies they are paying respect to, but from the ones I have seen, I do believe they were better. It came off to me like West just wanted to rush through the screenplay writing process so he get could get started on actual production. Sure a lot of moments from the film reminded me of those from earlier ones but they just weren’t interesting enough. And rather than employing old pop culture to bring out nostalgia, it felt like a technique to just highlight the brilliance of its own filmmaking. And no is allowed to do that but Tarantino. But then again, as I reread each sentence I wrote thus far, I feel like I am being too harsh. The fact is they paid homage to these old films quite well. From a technical aspect, I would buy this movie. But from a story perspective (which is why I think it’s so hard to separate since I am considering story and homage the same thing), it’s not that hot.

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  1. so, West is no Wes (craven).
    say it..go ahead… it SUCKED!

    i have not seen this, prolly never will. heh

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