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Thursday, March 25, 2010

The MARCH of Death, Day 23: The House of the Devil


Ti West may have wanted his name removed from Cabin Fever 2, he may also have even directed the less than stellar The Roost. However, all that becomes irrelevant for me when talking about The House of the Devil. The way some people hold up The Sixth Sense as Shyamalan’s masterpiece (forgiving things like Lady In The Water) is the way I choose to look at Ti West. It’s very difficult, with the number of films I watch to be captivated by anything so completely. I do have a real interest in very slow paced, stressfully tense, independent horror. So it should come as no surprise after that statement that Mr. West’s 2009 impeccably realized period piece (set in the early 80’s) is my favorite film of 2009. Jocelin Donahue, as Samantha, finds herself in need of some serious cash for a new apartment. Despite her friend’s warnings, she takes a baby-sitting job at the very creepy Ulman’s. Needless to say, she is not there to sit, yet Mr.Ulman (Tom Noonan) convinces her to stay with a stress erasing sum of money. Once alone in the house, Samantha falls into a state of peril that is agonizing to watch and even more stressful to get to. The ending doesn’t hinge on a groundbreaking “twist.” What Ti West and The House of the Devil does is tell a story. The story of Samantha’s decent into the unthinkable. Which incidentally, ends the way it has to. This is what great storytellers do: they let the characters take their journey, no matter how terrible or heartbreaking it may be.

The House of the Devil
2009
Director: Ti West
Starring: Jocelin Donahue and Tom Noonan

10/10 Farmhouses ~ Chris Conduit

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