The House of the Devil (2009)

The House of the Devil (2009) — Maybe it’s just me being the geek that I am, but I really dug this movie. A heads up, this is one of those movies that is 85% build-up and 15% pay-off but it’s damn good build-up and damn good pay-off. The film is set in the 1980s and totally cops the look and feel of a 1980s horror movie in the best possible way. Jocelin Donohue plays Sam, a college student who takes an irregular babysitting job to help her pay for her growing expenses. Her friend Megan (played by Greta Gerwig, who I never met but seems to have been friends with about a third of the people I knew in high school) advises against it. No one ever listens to people like Megan in these movies… The couple Sam babysits for are played by Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov, which really should be enough to send someone on their merry way but then there wouldn’t be much of a movie, would there? This movie is all about atmosphere, pacing, and suspense and it works really well on all three levels. Then when all hell breaks loose it feels earned instead of contrived. Maybe it’s only for genre geeks but this movie seems perfect for watching with all the lights out.

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