THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL Review. [Fantastic Fest '09]


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Written and Directed by Ti West, 2009


Time for some rumor control. Contrary to what one would assume watching The House of the Devil, writer-director Ti West does not have the power to bend time and space to his will. Ti West is not a time lord, he is a mere mortal like the rest of us, he just happens to have the ability to make a film that lives and breathes as if it fell out of a wormhole from 1983. Plenty of horror directors attempt the throwback film, but few pull it off and even fewer pull it off as convincingly as West has with The House of the Devil.

Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) is an impossibly cute college gal dying to escape her slovenly roommate. In order to afford the too-good-to-be-true rent on an apartment she’s just discovered, Samantha has to, against her better judgment, answer a Babysitter Wanted flier pinned to the ad board on campus. The man on the phone (Tom Noonan) is a little creepy and a little too eager to find a babysitter on the night of a rare full lunar eclipse, but that’s just something Samantha is going to have to put up with if she wants to move out. So the ill-fated coed asks her best friend to drive her out to the isolated house in the woods, where things eventually prove to be even worse than Samantha imagined.

Read the rest of my review at HorrorSquad.

Last Week in Horror News: 8/23 to 8/30


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • THE DESCENT: PART 2 – I’m just going to assume this is going to end up in theaters.  A lot of people are shitting on this trailer, but I dig the idea of having her go back down in the caves, which is surprising considering I still hate that stupid movie.
  • SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD – New promo clip.

Studio News and Attachments

  • DEADMAN – Guillermo Del Toro will be producing for Warner Brothers an adaptation of the DC Comics series Deadman about the vengeful ghost of a slain trapeze artist.  Someone named Nikolaj Arcel to direct.
  • LAKE MUNGO – After Dark films announces Australia’s LAKE MUNGO will be it’s third title for January’s Horrorfest. It joins THE GRAVES (shitty poster here) and Clive Barker’s DREAD.
  • DREAM HOUSE – Daniel Craig is the next big name actor to relocate his family to a house in the countryside that was previously, but unbeknown to the new owners, host to all kinds of cheerful murders.  Get a new fucking storyline, Hollywood.
  • MY SUPER PSYCHO SWEET 16 – MTV gets in on the slasher game.  No one else wants in.
  • VANISHING ON SEVENTH STREET – Hayden Christensen is heading towards Brad Anderson’s return to horror by way of a ghost town that specializes in making, well, more ghosts.
  • BURKE AND HARE – Simon Pegg joins John Landis’ return to feature length horror, a “true-story” period piece about men who sell the dead to universities.

Remakes

  • SWAMP THING – I suppose this might not technically count as a remake of the previous film(s), but Joel Silver wants to bring back Swamp Thing.  And it being 2009, he of course would like to do that in 3D.
  • THE BLOB – Rob Zombie will be remaking THE BLOB, though he’s sick and tired of that stupid, big, red, blobby thing killing people.  He’ll just leave that part out.

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • SPAWN – Not a lot of solid facts here, but according to Todd McFarlane’s Twitter feed, SPAWN will be returning to the world of TV animation.
  • PHANTASM V? – Seems there is a new PHANTASM project on the horizon, but there are no solid details as to what that means.
  • STAN HELSING – Because we all need non-theatrical SCARY MOVIE wannabes in our life, STAN HELSING comes out October 27th.
  • HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN – The GRINDHOUSE competition winning fake trailer HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, from the gents behind TREEVENGE, is going feature length.
  • HOUSE OF THE DEVIL – The new poster is a beautiful work of art.
  • THE SHOCK LABYRINTH – Japan’s first live-action 3D movie, directed by JU-ON’s Takashi Shimizu, picked u p international distribution.
  • “FEAR ITSELF” – FEARnet will be airing the five unaired “FEAR ITSELF” episodes starting early september.

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Last Week in Horror News: April 12 to the 19th


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • HALLOWEEN 2 – Clip from Entertainment Tonight.
  • CREEK – Lionsgate has yet to pin a release date for Joel Schumacher’s Nazi experiments flick once titled TOWN CREEK.

Studio News and Attachments

  • Fox Atomic Dies – Fox Atomic is, in all likelihood, getting folded back in to 20th Century Fox.  How this alters plans for JENNIFER’S BODY or the hypothetical 28 MONTHS LATER is unclear.
  • OFFSPRING – Ghost House Pictures picks up Jack Ketchum’s OFFSPRING, joins already acquired THE CHILDREN and SEVENTH MOON.
  • DRAG ME TO HELL – Looks like Ghost House opted to release the PG-13 variant.  Don’t blame ‘em.
  • ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE – Has a US theatrical date of July 17th, which is 361 days after the film’s release on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK; oh, and those discs are only $8 and $15, respectively.  Despite having a region listing on the back, my Blu of MANDY LANE plays just fine in a PS3.  This wait is ridiculous.
  • THANKSGIVING – Eli Roth is currently pitching a deal to direct a more accessible disaster(ish) film for $80mil if the studio involved will also pay $5mil for a feature length do-up of the hit trailer.

Remakes

  • MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D – Lionsgate has no plans for a sequel, but has 30 minutes of deleted scenes and an alternate ending ready for the disc due in May.
  • FRIDAY THE 13TH – Out on DVD and BRD June 16th.
  • EYES OF LAURA MARS – Chris Fischer, writer of S. DARKO tells fans at Weekend of Horrors that he has writing duties on the John Carpenter remake.

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • HATCHET 2 – Adam Green says the sequel is happening likely next winter, but is unsure the extent of his involvement.
  • I, FRANKENSTEIN – Classic monsters in a neo-noir mystery produced by Ryan Rotten of Shock and Robert Sanchez of IESB.net.

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips




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