Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The House of the Devil

I have two very boring jobs. One, I get to teach Composition to a bunch of morons; two, I get to bring people food and kiss their asses so they'll leave me money. Both seem to pay the bills and keep the cats in chow and me in tattoos, but they are both not what you would call the most stimulating occupations in the universe. Therefore, when I watch me one of these here horror movies we all know and love so much, I don't want to be bored. Quite the opposite. I want to be entertained! I want my movie watching experience to enrich my boring life as I drink pino grigio! I could just sit here and drink wine of out the box from Target, but I want something horrific to play out in the background while I'm doing so.

So, THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL! Why you waste my time, bitch? This is pretty much how it goes after Samantha shows up for her babysitting job at a creepy house in the middle of nowhere that she obtained by calling a number off of a cryptic flyer posted all about her college campus.

See Samantha shoot pool! See Samantha wander aimlessly around a house that we can't quite understand the layout of and never really will! See her dance around like an idiot and break a vase! See Samantha order pizza! See her call her BFF a couple of times! See her drink some water! See all of this for an hour! At least! Exhilarating, no?

To the film's credit however, it does have Mary Worvonov, an actress whose bath water I would gladly drink, as an aging weirdo Satanist and Dee Wallace as a sweet landlady (but only for a quick second). I love both of these lasses infinitely, but their presences alone isn't enough to save this snooze. But Dee and Mary are looking a little long in the tooth here, and I hope it's just the styling. Seriously, Mary W. was a hot piece in the day and I would hate to think she's aged as terribly as she looks here.

Also, giving credit where credit is due, the final act is a blood filled romp and roll, but it's so out of place after all the boring slow burn it almost seems like it's from another movie entirely. The look isn't quite grainy enough to pull off the early eighties grindhouse feel director Ti West is going for and I remember really really hating West's other feature, THE ROOST, but I had to see it because it involved bats and I love bats.

Just another reason I don't like new horror movies. I promise that I'll watch something old in the next few days that I actually like and can say something nice about. It's more fun to review something that's a good time, don't you agree?


  1. Ah! -Finally-, a sympathetic soul who agrees with me and found HoTD to be a boring, overrated piece of horse-shit. I'm very, VERY sick of everyone and their grandmother kissing this movie's ass.

  2. Thank you, Astro. Same with DEAD SNOW - I don't get it when the entire community starts salivating over a movie that doesn't deserve it. It is upsetting to me.

  3. I read reviews of this film that said it was a throwback to classic 70's and 80's horror. I couldn't agree more. My favorite part in Black Christmas is when Olivia Hussey walks around in her cool hipster mittens and talks about her landlord for forty-five minutes.

    This movie was the most useless thing I have ever purchased at Wal-Mart. That's the problem with loving horror movies: most of them suck. Even the ones with good reviews. HOTD is more boring and meaningless than Paranormal Activity which is no easy feat.

  4. I didnt know what to expect going in to the film after reading everyone on opposite sides of the spectrum. I enjoyed it though, I liked that it was slow paced for once and I felt that Samantha was one of the only real characters in genre films in recent years. There were some excellent visual call backs to the 70s and 80s, but I preferred the thematic references to films like Rosemary's Baby or Burnt Offerings where it wasnt about excess and gore (well.. up until the ending which I hated..).

    Im glad to have you and J.'s reviews for comparison though, but count me in on the salivating and or partial salivating.

  5. I've started watching this a few times, as I figure I should at least give a film that aspires to "70s occult horror" a fair shake -- I'll totally admit that I have a weak spot for Babysitters In Peril, and I've always been a sucker for ABC Movies of the Week like Fear No Evil, Something Evil, Some Other Movie With Evil In The Title, Reflections of Something To Do With Evil, Evil Reflections of Evil -- basically if there's a black mass in there somewhere I'm easy to please, so I don't really need a movie to be over the top to be satisfying. That said, every time I try to watch House of the Devil I just can't get through it. Did I really spend half an hour watching this girl make a phone call? Am I really still watching this movie? It's like watching home movies of your uncle move a beige couch into the basement. It's good to hear I'm not entirely off base on this one.