Ti West has burst onto the scene as a household name these days after pairing with A24 for his blockbuster hit X before shocking everyone with his speedy turnaround technicolor prequel Pearl. Ti didn’t start there however: he cut his teeth long before in a series of early 2010 romps that reflect the smooth and transitional style of West that we see on the big screen today. The House of the Devil was one of his first forays in 2009.
The House of the Devil follows a young college student scraping up the money for her own apartment, who takes a sketchy babysitting job for quick cash. As the night wears on, a myriad of horrifying scenarios unfold while a lunar eclipse reaches its peak.
The House of the Devil takes you right back to the 1980s
The House of the Devil is a time capsule to the golden age of ’70s and ’80s horror, using silence and a subtle score accompanied by vintage camera techniques to capture the feel of our favorite films of yore. West’s use of 16mm film makes this romp feel like it was pulled straight from a video rental store in the 1980s, and as we have seen with his newest projects, he is a master of using subtle set pieces to invoke the vibes of the era. From Volvo to walkmans to old tv sets, this film will have you looking up what decade it was made in.
From a slow-moving crawl to a heart-pounding finish, this film is as atmospheric as it gets. It slowly pulls you deep into the house and its many rooms, anchoring you to the protagonist and enveloping you in a constant sense of dread, waiting for the next shoe to drop. As The House of the Devil crescendos, it flips viewers’ comfortability on its head and delivers a racing final 20 minutes filled with unpredictable twists and turns. For deep broody vibes, nostalgic stylistic excellence, and slow-building dread, The House of the Devil should be high on your list this spooky season.
You can currently stream The House of the Devil is available on Shudder, or on Amazon Prime, Tubi, Vudu and Peacock for free.
Have you seen Ti West’s early work? Will you be catching up this Halloween season? Let us know in the comments section.