"Are you not the babysitter?"
The House Of The Devil is possibly the most slow-moving horror movie I've ever sat through. I generally have absolutely no patience for movies that move this slowly. If it had been any other movie I might have turned it off after nothing happened for nearly an hour.
(Okay, like, two things happened. Not really enough to hold a person's attention. Usually.)
The thing is, there was something about The House Of The Devil that kept me watching. There was enough in the first half hour or so to grab my attention enough that I wanted to know what happened. The lead character (Samantha) and her best friend were likeable enough and the couple Samantha was 'sitting for were odd enough that I was intrigued.
Most of the movie consists of Samantha wandering alone around the couple's old house and, really, nothing happening at all. And I don't know why, because ordinarily movies like this don't get this kind of reaction out of me, but it was insanely creepy. I spent most of the movie trying to burrow into my mattress, keeping my eyes mainly on the edges of the screen, in case something suddenly jumped out. I never do that! Ordinarily if I think something's going to leap out suddenly, I keep my eyes glued to the screen. Watching the edges of the screen is something that sissies do (albeit sissies who still want to seem brave and therefore don't cover their eyes and watch between their fingers).
Okay, so I'm a sissy.
What was kind of disappointing about The House Of The Devil was when stuff started happening. Eventually the action picks up and at first it's even worse than the slow, creeping dread of nothingness. For about a minute and a half I felt jolty and a little sick to my stomach.
Then I felt nothing.
It's not that the movie didn't live up to the slow, creeping dread of nothingness. It was still a fine and disturbing ending. It just ... wasn't as upsetting as it could have been. All that buildup that doesn't ordinarily work on me for a sufficiently messed up (and messy!) ending, but I guess I was expecting something more.
Oh well, I still highly recommend The House Of The Devil. Any movie that can make me that afraid of nothing must be doing something right.
(Oh, I also have to tip my hat to the fact that the movie looked and felt genuinely like an '80s movie. I never would have known it wasn't if the end credits hadn't said 2008.)
End of line.