Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 53 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Sam is a pretty college sophomore, so desperate to earn some cash for a deposit on an apartment that she accepts a babysitting job even after she finds out there is no baby. Mr. and Mrs. Ulman are the older couple who lure Sam out to their creeky Victorian mansion deep in the woods, just in time for a total lunar eclipse. Megan is Sam’s best friend, who gives her a ride out to the house, and reluctantly leaves her there despite suspecting that something is amiss. Victor at first seems like just a creepy guy lurking around the house, but quickly makes it clear that Sam will end this night in a bloody fight for her life. (Magnolia Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. It is a fine little old-school thriller.
  2. 83
    If nothing else, Ti West’s retro “Satan rules!” thriller The House Of The Devil gets the look and tone of early-’80s horror schlock exactly right.
  3. 80
    A clever picture, and something of a novelty -- it's not going to change the face or direction of horror filmmaking in any drastic way. But it's fun to watch something that's so obviously made with love.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    An almost fetishistic re-creation of a horror-suspense movie from around 1978.
  5. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    70
    Pumping the audience with inhale-exhale zooms and out-of-the-way close-ups, director Ti West's ratcheting of suspense in this alone-in-an-empty-house tale is proficient, if not psychologically piercing, in the best "Let's Scare Jessica to Death" fashion.
  6. 70
    In keeping with his models, West is concerned with not suspense exactly but the ritual withholding and ultimate lavishing of bloody chaos.
  7. This is the perfect illustration of the banality of most scare movies.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 15
  2. Negative: 4 out of 15
  1. TarekM.
    Jan 1, 2010
    10
    Finally a correct homage to the 80's horror flicks without any stupid quotes or irony. Rock on Ti West!
  2. Spencer
    Nov 2, 2009
    10
    A pitch-perfect homage to the glory days of 80's horror, that never once stoops to satire. Every scene is crafted with finesse and absolute devotion. This film feels like a collection of all the memorable bits of horror that we look back on fondly, from the lighting, sounds, music, and atmosphere without any of the demerits. Meaning it adheres to the strict genre conventions while at the same time transcending them. Oh, and most importantly, the build up of tension and atmosphere is unbearably intense and it is scary as hell. Expand
  3. GeoffMcNulty
    Feb 4, 2010
    9
    A nearly perfect attempt at making a slow-burning horror movie from the early 1980s. Hindsight is 20/20.
  4. JT
    Dec 12, 2009
    6
    The plot for this film has been done a million times (or is it two million?). But the thing that gives it an edge is that the characters are smart & realistic, aspects which are usually tossed aside in 99% of other horror films. Expand
  5. Dec 10, 2011
    4
    It does indeed build an intensity via nostalgic 80's occult angst but it drags out for far too long for so little reward. The leading lady performance is plausible but she cannot single handedly float the film out of it's disappointing anti-climax. It does have that one good 'jump' moment worth missed heartbeat or two. Expand
  6. AndrewS.
    Nov 4, 2009
    4
    The build-up hints at something great lurking around the corner... and even pushes your wits at anticipation. And pushes it more, and more, and even more still. The only 'scares' are ridiculously unexplainable, coming in the last 5 minutes but are too cheap and too fleeting to make up for a movie that really amounts to nothing but an homage to the look (but little else) of 80s horror. Expand
  7. zach
    Feb 10, 2010
    0
    The last 10 minutes are just horror cliches. Once the ritual took place i predicted exactly what would happen utterlly horrible no reedeming qualities what so ever. Expand

See all 15 User Reviews

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