The House of the Devil Reviews

  • 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.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum — Entertainment Weekly

  • After years of vivisectionist splatter, here is a horror movie with real shivers.

    Manohla Dargis — New York Times

  • Things quickly get silly and unscary.

    Peter Bradshaw — Guardian [UK]

  • West avoids cliche and cheesiness with wise casting choices. Donahue's naturalistic performance is as persuasive as the subtly sinister portrayals by Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • West, a rising young director of minor cult pleasures, comes clean here about his love for all things Bava (Mario) and Carpenter (John).

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • Gravely gorgeous in the style of a storybook Snow White, Donahue gives eloquent reaction shots and nails West's piece de resistance -- a bounding, Walkman-soundtracked, Jazzercise dance through the house.

    Nick Pinkerton — Village Voice

  • The film may provide an introduction for some audience members to the Hitchcockian definition of suspense: It's the anticipation, not the happening, that's the fun.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • Even the familiar tropes of The House of the Devil are familiar in the right way, like an old, bloodstained sweater.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • In keeping with his models, West is concerned with not suspense exactly but the ritual withholding and ultimate lavishing of bloody chaos.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • Call it the best '80s babysitter-in-peril movie never made.

    Peter Debruge — Variety

  • Although the payoff is creepy, it takes a little too long to arrive -- and when it does, it's about as worn-out as the movie's title.

    Kyle Smith — New York Post

  • The classical structure slowly builds tension before erupting into a decisively gory finish, harkening back to a smarter and more nuanced era of spooky storytelling.

    Eric Kohn — indieWIRE

  • The House of the Devil is really a romance: a love letter to the kind of gal we thought had given up the ghost.

    Stephanie Zacharek — Salon.com

  • A horror film with no punch.

    Kirk Honeycutt — Hollywood Reporter

  • In the end, this homage to '80s horror is little more than a faithful flashback -- authentic in execution but about as scary as something you saw again and again way back when.

    David Germain — Associated Press

  • West's assured way with widescreen framing, long takes and silences followed by sharp if explainable noise are almost cruelly funny in their heart-stopping pleasures.

    Robert Abele — Los Angeles Times

  • The House of the Devil isn't just a movie: it's an experience. It joins the league of Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist and The Omen as one of the most diabolical entries in the modern horror library.

    Sean Edgar — Paste Magazine

  • In this era of torture porn and slasher pics, House of the Devil is a shining example of how to build atmosphere and tension the old-fashioned way.

    Jen Yamato — Movies.com

  • If you don't get a kick out of watching doomed babysitter Samantha put on that portable cassette player and dance around that creepy house to the strains of the Fixx's "One Thing Leads to Another," you might need a course in Horror Appreciation 101.

    Josh Ralske — TV Guide's Movie Guide

  • The problem with it, and with House of the Devil, is that it's mostly pedestrian stuff leading to a pay off that's just not enough.

    Cole Abaius — Film School Rejects

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