Lisa Schwarzbaum
October 28, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The House of the Devil

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
93 minutes
performer
Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov
director
Ti West
distributor
Magnet
author
Ti West
genre
Horror

We gave it an B+

A pretty college girl (fresh-scrubbed newcomer Jocelin Donahue) takes a babysitting job she sooo should have turned down — ?in a creepy house with rooms she sooo shouldn’t enter. The resulting film, The House of the Devil includes a lunar eclipse, Satan worship, and cult actors Mary Woronov and Tom Noonan. Writer-director Ti West’s crisp, economical, satisfying little horror pic reclaims the pleasures of the kind of old-school formula that the jokey Scream franchise deconstructed into satire. There’s wit but never a wink in this smartly shot production, which pays homage to the 1980s without fetishizing the era. B+

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