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73

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

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 62 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 inSam 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. Reviewed by: Andy Klein
    80
    The buildup is undeniably effective; for most of the movie, it provides the same kind of thrills as "Paranormal Activity," if somewhat less brilliantly.
  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. Writer and director Ti West accesses all the hot buttons for fans of the genre in a manner that doesn't make fun of it (and its followers) in a "Scary Movie" way, but instead treats it with the appropriate amount of respect. (Key word: appropriate.)
  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 16
  2. Negative: 4 out of 16
  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. AndrewK.
    Nov 12, 2009
    9
    To those who have said the pay-off is not worth the build-up, I'd say maybe they're not approaching the film the right way. The To those who have said the pay-off is not worth the build-up, I'd say maybe they're not approaching the film the right way. The build-up IS the pay-off. The fear and anticipation seething greater and greater (a fear and anticipation our heroine believes she is feeling naively) is what has the viewer on their seats edge despite what seemingly inane activites the heroine is performing. And, to me, when the climax finally does come, it doesn't seem ridiculous as it does surreal (we were warned from the beginning after all). 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. Jan 10, 2015
    5
    Just an average horror film. Alot of build up for not alot of scare. Just my opinion!

    It would've been better if perhaps there wasn't as
    Just an average horror film. Alot of build up for not alot of scare. Just my opinion!

    It would've been better if perhaps there wasn't as much attention to detail. Like boring detail.
    Expand
  5. 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, 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
  6. Sep 25, 2014
    3
    I love horror movies but this movie was pretty much a boring piece of crap. I went in with mildly high expectations since it got so muchI love horror movies but this movie was pretty much a boring piece of crap. I went in with mildly high expectations since it got so much praise by the critics and was left severely disappointed. I don't know how anyone could have found this scary. I kept thinking if I can just stick with this movie through the boring parts I'll eventually get to the scary parts, but yep you guessed it. There are none. Not one. I'm being kind by giving this a 3. 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 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 16 User Reviews

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