Monday, November 29, 2010

The House of the Devil- a review with spoilers

Well to the movies credit the stylistic choice of taking a movie made in 2009 and making it in the same format and style of a 1980s horror flick is a neat concept.  The acting for it was not bad and as far as ideas go it’s not all that bad.  Where it fails epically is that it’s got about 30 minutes of footage of the main actor being bored.  If you want your audience to become bored, have them watch someone else being bored for a while.  Nothing says griping cinema like watching someone fritter away their time.

​The main character is a younger Karen Allen lookalike named Samantha who is a college student who has begun renting a house to get away from her roommate who is a slob who stays up all night banging guys.  The landlady is realistic enough to waive the security deposit since she likes the cut of Samantha’s jib.  Samantha still has to get some fast cash to make the first month.  So she spies a flier that just says Babysitter wanted.  She calls the number on a payphone and is immediately called back.

​The man on the end says he wants to meet her outside the Student Affairs office.  This is the first instance we watch Sam being bored.  She waits and waits and waits some more before she realized she was stood up.  Then she goes to get pizza with her friend Megan.   They bitch about what happened and Megan says she out to tear down all the fliers on campus as petty vengeance.  Sam thinks that idea is stupid.  She goes back to her dorm where she lays on her bed and is BORED.  Her roommate wakes up and tells her the guy called her.

​She calls him back and he apologizes profusely for being last minute.  He also says he will pay $100 if she agrees to babysit tonight. She agrees since she really needs the cash.  Having no car she bums a ride from Megan who on the way shows her in the back seat she has taken down all the fliers herself in the name of petty vengeance.  Now Sam knows how she got the job.  They arrive at the nice house. Mr. Ullman is there to greet the two women.

​He is evasive but explains that the babysitting thing was just a ruse to get her to come over.  She'll actually be looking after his mother-in-law she is really not game at first but he raises the fee to $400 for the night.  So the Ullman and his wife leave saying that they are going into town to watch the lunar eclipse tonight.  They old lady upstairs can take care of herself for the most part and Sam will be fine.  Megan takes off saying she’ll come back at 12:30am.

​Megan parks next to a graveyard to light up a smoke.  A bearded guy teleports out of nowhere to light her cigarette scarring her half to death.  He asks “You’re not the babysitter?” she says no and he shoots her in the face which shocked the hell out of me.   Then he deftly picks up the cigarette out of her dead hands and finishes it.  Damn!  Hope you enjoyed that bit of thrill because it’s going to be dull for a long while now.

​Sam is bored for a while so we watch her watch a little TV.  She plays pool.  She dances around listening to music and looks at a fishbowl.  She dorks around the old man’s desk.  She digs around the place a bit and you get the hint the place is evil.  One of the rooms that Sam decides not to enter has three dead bodies in it but she doesn’t ever see that.  Finally she gets a delivery of pizza.  But it’s delivered by the bearded killer.  She takes a bite and spits it out.  It doesn’t take her long to go upstairs and fall down drugged. Must be strong stuff to still cause a person to pass out after a single bite and having it be spit out.

​Sam wakes up on an alter with a pentagram on it. A freaky looking creature that looks like Rocky Dennis in “Mask” is there along with the Ullmans and the bearded guy all in black cloaks.  The freaky creature cuts itself and draws a pentagram on her stomach and then makes her drink blood.  Sam breaks free and manages to stab Mr. Ullman.  She gouges out the bearded dude’s eye and escapes to their kitchen where she trips over Megan’s body.

​She proceeds to arm herself with a knife and runs upstairs. Now a Cyclops and pissed bearded guy goes upstairs after her with a gun.  He shoots her in the arm and but Sam manages to slice at his throat.  Holy shit! At least she isn’t totally helpless.  Mrs. Ullman goes after her and tells her how useless it is to fight it.  Sam shanks her in the back. Sam tries to dial 911 but is assaulted by psychic visions of the creature looking more and more demonic.

​Now Sam gets the gun and is running outside through the graveyard.  Mr. Ullman is still bleeding profusely and chasing after her.  He tells her to go ahead and shoot since he is the messenger for someone else.  He asks Sam to follow the voices in her head.  She puts the gun to her head and pulls the trigger.  Next we see a hospital room where a nurse is tending to her.  “You’ll be okay.” then she pats her stomach, “both of you.”

​See at 1 hour 35 minutes I really was wondering when something was going to happen.  She hung around that evil house for way too long.  Either, give her something to do to make me care that she is on screen or don’t show her.  But don’t show you’re main character bored.  At one point she turns on the TV and “Night of the Living Dead” is on.  I’m sure because it’s public domain but it really rose my spirits cause I wanted the dumbass to watch it rather that fritter her night away some more. How sad is that?  Still it’s not an awful movie.  “Rosemary’s Baby” did it all better though.

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