The House of the Devil
2009, Magnet Releasing
This one was a great find and a perfect start to the horror movie marathon I plan on having all throughout October. What a movie to watch on a cool Friday evening when you’re all alone! I had this one in my Netflix queue awhile ago for a long time, but eventually took it out. After reading a ‘best of horror streaming on Netflix’ list, I decided to give The House of the Devil a go again. I was not disappointed.
The House of the Devil appears to be set in the early ’80s and revolves around a young, innocent college girl (Samantha, played by Jocelin Donahue) who is looking to earn some rent money by taking a babysitting job one evening. Except the babysitting job is not all it seems and the people that own the house are very… weird.
This is not a fast-paced horror movie filled with crass, nastiness and gore. Nope. This is an old-fashioned slow-burn movie that pay homage to the occult/satanic films of the late 1970s and early 1980s. What this movie lacks in carnage, it more than makes up for with atmosphere as the suspense builds and builds as Jocelin begins to uncover just what the heck is going on.
This film perfectly captures the era it was set in. Rotary house phones, portable cassette players with the orange foam earphone pads, pay phones and the very idea of going to some stranger’s house for a babysitting gig are all so very ’80s but the movie doesn’t try to beat you over the head with the fact that it’s set a few decades back.
Although I don’t typically go for movies that deal with the occult, I’m glad I checked this one out. I was very entertained by it and staring at Jocelin Donahue for ninety minutes is not a bad deal at all. She has that adorable girl next door quality while being completely gorgeous at the same time. Casting her was a great choice. She carries the movie well.