What do you want from a horror movie? For many lovers of the genre we want shocking, things that that will make you squirm in your seat, gore, blood and something so terrifying your mouth will drop and your heart beat twice as fast as it usual. If this were the sort of thing you would expect to see then The House of the Devil is going to be a huge disappointment. If on the other hand you are looking for something set in the 1980’s (although filmed in 2009) with less gore and more waiting around, then it may be up your alley.
The film focuses on the satanic side of the 1980s as the central theme, while also combining elements of the slasher and haunted house sub-genres. Re-using the “babysitting” them, which we have seen countless times before, college student Samantha takes on a job, unknown to her before hand it is to look after an elderly woman rather than a child. Things are iffy from the initial phone call made to the house. She gradually becomes more and more suspicious about the house and its occupants. As it turns out, the residents are Satanists intent on making Samantha their next interest, not a sacrifice but something much more frightful. The film claims to be based upon true events, but where and when are never actually stated, which is disappointing as it is often more frightening to experience a film such as this when some, even the most minimal of knowledge of the actual event is known.
What creates a lack of interest from a start is that it takes well over an hour to actually get into the satanic element, considering this is the most focal point it was unpleasing to say the least. Even after this hour, things seem to be crammed into the remaining 30 minutes or so. Girl drugged, kidnapped and put through hell. This side of things should have taken more time to develop and gone into much more detail, possibly built up over the entire film to the last critical point where things explode. As far as spooky houses go though, this eerie, isolated mansion is brilliant.
It appears a similar style is used to that of horror films from the 1970’s and 1980s, such as filming techniques and technology. Because of this, The House of the Devil will likely be a complete flop against rising sensations such as the Saw franchise and previous slasher’s like Scream.