Thursday, October 29, 2015

100 Words on ... The House of the Devil

Set in the mid-80s, with pitch-perfect clothes, hair and props, The House of the Devil earns its screams with integrity, building slowly to a strobe-lit, blood-slimed, twist-ending final few minutes. Except for those last few minutes and the first shocking event, which happens about halfway through, our growing sense of dread is fed mainly by relatively subtle cues, like a camera that keeps pushing slowly in to pick out a suspicious detail; the creepy voice of Tom Noonan on the phone; or his even creepier behavior in person. Other than that, this is a largely realistic slice of likeable college student Samantha’s (Jocelin Donahue) life, culminating in the night when her loyal best friend Megan (Greta Gerwig) drives her far into the country for a babysitting gig Sam doesn’t think she can afford to say no to, though no-bullshit Megan keeps begging her to. Written for Brooklyn Magazine

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