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Review: House of the Devil (2009)

hotdDirected byTi West

Starring: Jocelin Donahue, Greta Gerwig, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov

There are three theories about how Ti West made House of the Devil evoke the 1980s so successfully. One, time machine. Two, deal with the horned one. Three, astonishing horror director. Considering what a masterful retro supernatural chiller it is, option two seems reasonable.

This isn’t just an homage to early 80s creeping horror: It’s a reproduction so exquisite that some members of the audience were convinced that they must have rented this on VHS in 1986. West has channeled that Satanic cult scare that Geraldo Rivera whipped up and the whole cinematic genre of unease that it summoned. As West told the audience attending Monday night’s Fantastic Fest screening, there’s a lot more to recreating a decade than “some douchebag flipping a Rubik’s Cube.”

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