Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day 1- House of the Devil!

I'm soooooooooooooooooo excited to start the Halloween blogging! I'm going to attempt to watch a movie every day - and post a favorite Halloween themed 'thing'. At the very least, I'd like to do better than last year. I'm hoping to - and I'm hoping to be able to just enjoy this October more than the last two - which were earlier in my program and much, much more hectic and stressful. But there's still enough to do this semester - so forgive me if life and school get in the way and I'm not able to get to this every day.

With that said.....on with the MOVIES!!!

I had the thrill of seeing this little gem last Friday as part of the Milwaukee Film Festival.
We didn't have a film festival in Milwaukee last year - which was a disappointment. The Milwaukee International Film Festival was still pretty young, but apparently there were internal issues and the whole thing was dismantled, took a year off, and reborn again as the Milwaukee Film Festival. Luckily many of the same people are still running it and choosing films. Unfortunately for people like me, they don't show many horror movies - we usually get only get one that falls under the category of true horror. Fortunately, their choices are usually pretty stellar. In past years I've seen great films like Severance and The Signal.

This year they didn't let me down. It initially looked like I wasn't going to get to see this film - but then we changed our plans and ended up at the Oriental at midnight to see this fun film.

The story is pretty simple and the cast is small. We have a young woman who needs to make 300 bucks in just a few days so she can move in to her new apartment. She answers an ad for a babysitter job and then the weirdness begins.

When she arrives at the house (in the middle of nowhere, of course) she finds that there's actually no children to sit for at all. What the couple wants from her is just to be in the house in case the woman's elderly mother has some kind of accident or there's an emergency - you see, her daughter just can't bear to leave her alone. The situation is weird and the people creepy, but eventually the young woman is convinced to stay when the gentleman offers her 400 hundred dollars! For just a few hours! Hell, he'll even give her 20 bucks to have pizza delivered. And the best part of all, she doesn't even have to talk to the old lady or do anything for her. You see, she's kind of a private person and she really is pretty independent.

I'm going to stop with the plot synopsis there - because to tell you any more would really kind of ruin things. I don't know how other people will review this film, but I absolutely loved it. The house in the film is really a character in the movie. It's noisy and creaky and it seems like there's an endless array of closets, rooms, hallways, and dark corners.

One warning - if you're an action junkie or you really need a lot of energy on the screen, you may find yourself bored or wanting the movie to just get on with it already. But the movie unfolds slowly, building tension after tension till you just want to explode. At one point I really thought there was no way the movie could live up to all the suspense it was building. But suddenly, boom, it's here, everything we've been waiting on, and for me, it wasn't a letdown.

I also loved the way the film captured the early 80's from the hairstyles to the clothes to the portable cassette player the heroine carries around. And it was great to see Dee Wallace and Mary Woronov - their parts were small but memorable, especially Mary's. And I REALLY appreciated that when the final climax came, we weren't treated to 'the big speech' from the bad guys explaining their evil plan in great detail. No, you pretty much have to put it together for yourselves. Not that it's extremely difficult - it's pretty simple - but the elegance is in its simplicity. Hint : The title may give you some indication.

I'm happy to see a film that genuinely creeped me out and had me wanting to cover my eyes and didn't use tons of CGI or a huge budget to do it. Sometimes just going back to the basics is a good thing.

Web site HERE - with trailers and play dates.

Here's to 30 more days of Halloween!
Mother Firefly


harleygirl13 said...

This sounds really good! When will it be out so others can see it? Again one of those things that would make me wonder? hmmm House in middle of no where??? $400 for a few hours???? Don't check on old lady??? hmmmm

Mother Firefly said...

Oh, you especially will love this one, I think.

I added a link on the post for the website. You can watch trailers and see where it's playing - although there is no date on the site for a wide release or for DVD yet.

I agree - the movie is FILLED with horror movie cliches - but it's nice to see a movie use them and actually be AWARE of what they're doing and using them to their advantage.