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October 22, 2009

THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL

House of the DevilTi West's "The House of the Devil" will send lasting chills down your spine. This super creepy flick is a perfectly pitched old-school horror homage to a '70s/'80s-era of cinema that should have been. 

West employs a tasteful formal approach to creating filmic suspense through overhead and low angle shots. Think Dario Argento and Wes Craven.

Jocelin Donahue plays Sam, a small town college sophomore who takes on a high-paying rural babysitting job in a freaky mansion on the night of a full lunar eclipse. Talk about retro, Ti West hits the checklist hard.

Former Warhol Superstar Mary Woronov ("A Fish Called Wanda") is wonderfully sinister as the black-clad matron of a cult of Satan worshipers who have special plans for Sam.

An unintended cousin to Scott Sanders' lovingly executed Blaxploitation homage "Black Dynamite," "House of the Devil" is a brilliantly entertaining work of disciplined filmmaking where emotion, period, style, social conventions, and fear squeeze together in a knockout punch. Make no mistake, "House of the Devil" is a masterpiece of American horror.

Between Lars von Trier's "Antichrist" and "House of the Devil," Halloween at the movies is as good as it gets this year. Take a date; you don't want to see this movie alone.

House of the Devil
Rated R. 93 mins. (A) (Five Stars)

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