House Of The Devil: The 80’s Will Never Die

House Of The Devil is an 80’s themed possession horror film directed by Ti West. The plot sees struggling student Samantha (Jocelin Donahue), take a babysitting job so she can pay to move into her own place. However, after she arrives at the house, she quickly begins to realise that something isn’t right and as the night progresses thing take a turn for the demonic.

My feelings on Ti West as a director are mixed, his style of directing is more miss than hit for me; I lovingly refer to him as a poor man’s Adam Wingard. I didn’t like The Babysitters, I thought it was disjointed and clumsy and I didn’t like his section in The ABC’s Of Death, I thought it was tasteless and cheap. So when I realised, he was the director of this I didn’t have high hopes.

That said, I actually enjoyed this film. Did it have it issues? Sure. A lot of it felt too drawn out with not a lot happening, and the use of spiking the audio after a scare started to become unpleasant to listen to after a while, but apart from that I thought it was enjoyable.

I enjoyed the 80’s aesthetic of the film, my favourite sequences of the film were the opening credits and the bit when Samantha was dancing around the house, I loved the goofy tone of the film in this regard. I thought the songs were great and I truly believe the 80’s will never die.

What’s more the performances are surprisingly good, the two I would draw attention to are Greta Gerwig as Megan and Tom Noonan as Mr Ulman.  Gerwig is memorable as Sam’s best friend Megan, who guesses something is wrong right from the beginning. Gerwig has some great comedic moments and easily manages to impress; sadly she isn’t around for long. Noonan on the other hand, is creepy and imposing from the moment he appears on screen, he manages to do a lot with very little and gives a memorable performance.

Overall, this is a surprisingly good haunted house/possession horror film, with some strong performances.

Pros.

Noonan and Gerwig.

The 80’s feel of it.

Some good scares.

Cons.

Technical issues/ audio spiking.

It is overly drawn out.

Lena Dunham takes you out of the film.

3.5/5

Reviewed by Luke

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