Thursday, November 12, 2009

Things That Go Together: Satan and the '80s?

Couldn't wait. SAVAGENYC was supposed to wait and see House of the Devil with friends and family, all of whom are stone horror buffs, but the temptation to just drop everything and hand over $12.50 to the Angelika Film Center on Houston Street was just too great. I mean, who can resist a poster like this ?


Quick version:  scary. so scary you will turn into a little, 8 year-old girl all over again and get freaked out about going home to your apartment, even though you live in a building with about 8,000 other people.
On a scale of one to ten, I would  give The House of the Devil a 19.

SAVAGENYC was attracted to the film for the likes of former Warhol Superstar Mary Woronov, and for the genius, '80s-inspired production design, hints of which can be gleaned from the brilliant poster.

But we forgot that this might actually be a really scary, nightmare-inducing experience. Too late, we were already strapped in.

The House of the Devil brilliantly references everything from Halloween to Visiting Hours to The Little Girl Who Lived Down the Lane (don't forget Race with the Devil !) in its general mis-en-scene; recreating, with jaw-dropping accuracy, the artless composition, flat lighting, and drab interiors of those Friday night classics, all while keeping the viewer on the edge of his-or-her seat with an incredibly tense and taut narrative. Like Grindhouse, but with better, more suspenseful writing. And if you're just there for the kitsch alone (which, I admit, I was), the hilarious knock-out opening credits are worth the price of admission, promising a very disturbing ABC After-School Special.