The House of the Devil
is a horror film directed by Ti West.
In the 1980s, college student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse. She slowly realizes her clients harbor a terrifying secret; they plan to use her in a satanic ritual. The film is notable for being a retraux
of old 70s and 80s horror films.
This movie contain examples of the following tropes:
- Affably Evil - Mr. Ulman. From beginning to end, he never stops being civil and personable.
- The Antichrist - Implied to be the endgoal of the cult.
- Boom, Headshot: Megan's death.
- Bungled Suicide: Samantha.
- Downer Ending
- Genre Savvy - Megan smells a rat from the beginning and urges Samantha to turn the job down several times.
- Hollywood Satanism
- Nothing But Hits - Three 80's singles are listened to by characters. "One Thing Leads To Another" by The Fixx is well-remembered enough to show up on many 80's hits compilations. On the other hand, "One Of Our Submarines" by Thomas Dolby and "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)" by The Greg Kihn Band are a bit more obscure. All three of these songs were released within a few years of each other and would place the film around 1983 or so. And then the soundtrack also uses much more recent music by Gods Of Fire, which is just influenced by 80's metal enough to not stick out too much.
- Nightmare Face - The priestess.
- Nothing Is Scarier - Most of the film follows this.
- Plot Hole: Why did the Satanists need to pretend to leave and then wait around for hours to perform the ritual to impregnate Samantha when she was in the house right where they wanted her the entire time?
- Religious Horror
- Stylistic Suck - The film was shot on 16mm film and was made intentionally to look like an old movie. Expect lots of grain and murky colors.
- Wham Line - "You're not the babysitter?" (It makes sense in context)
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The fate of Mr. Ulman and what exactly happened between Samantha shooting herself and the final scene in the hospital is never elaborated on.