The House Of The Devil (2009)
I'd like to go on record and say that if all of Ti West's films end up as The House of the Devil does he may very well become one of the best horror directors and writers of our generation. I can't help but stress at length how much I love this film. He was able to film this to make it feel like a late 70's to early 80's horror film. From the look of the film, clothing, dialogue, props, everything makes you feel like you are watching one of the horror films of days gone by. I do have to stress though that the first hour of this movie is build up and not much happens. If you are a gore or action hound you might be put off by the long introduction. In the style of the movie though it works and it does end in a bang.
The film opens as Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) has found a new building to live to avoid her roommate who is too into both partying and sex for her taste. Samantha just wants to have some peace and quiet while she's doing her studies and isn't able to in her current living arrangement. The problem? She is a little light on money to be able to make the initial rent. To cover this she looks for side work to help pad her wallet a little.
She is soon able to find a babysitting job that is supposed to pay well. An older couple, the Ulman's, need someone to watch the house and Mr. Ulman's mother for them. While Samantha originally believes she is going to be taking care of a child, enough money is thrown at her to ignore her qualms and take the job. Her friend that gave her a ride leaves and soon after the Ulman's do as well. After this happens the buildup slowly raises. While we quickly discover things aren't as they seem - Samantha has no idea anything is wrong until it's too late and the action kicks in. Once it does Samantha learns that she was setup from nearly the beginning.
Movies where the end are what make them can be hard to write about. I want to rant on where this goes but the journey and destination are equally enjoyable. The problem with really explaining where the movie is going though is ruining the surprise of it. It's so rare that such a perfectly done horror movie comes out that to ruin it would be doing it a disservice.
This is shot to match the style of 70's horror that has a huge build up of characters, suspense, and just setting the right mood for something to attempt to creep you out. What really stands out though is that this was both (for the most part) more believable than any movie similar to it done in the past. I was consistantly struck by how amazingly well this was put together and can't stress enough that if you enjoy build up, suspense, and a little throwback in your horror that you need to pick this up immediately. I am not a person to give a perfect review to a movie on a regular basis. This one has easily become one of my top 10 horror movie favorites.