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Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Horror, Day 24: The House of the Devil

Throwbacks: they can celebrate the best of the past or highlight the worst mistakes. The House of the Devil may have been released in 2009, but it stands as a loving homage to the horror of the 80's, from the babysitter plot line to the delicious wardrobe. Director Ti West elevates the

The House of the Devil

But why even revisit the babysitter genre? Haven't these caretakers experienced enough torture? Obviously not! Director Ti West avoids the traditional woman-victimized-by-crazed-but-stronger-man approach; instead, Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) finds herself directly taking on a satanic cult -- one that's murdered both men and women.

***SPOILER HEAVINESS AHEAD***

But Samantha doesn't take anything lying down. Even when strapped down with blood being poured in her face, she manages to free herself. At this point, most babysitters would run in the wrong direction, cry, and get captured -- but not Samantha. She doesn't even leave the house until she's violently attacked or killed all 4 members of the cult. When she discovers that her role in the satanic ritual hasn't ended, she chooses to shoot herself rather than face a Rosemary's Baby scenario.

What fun would it be if ending things were that easy? Of course, the film closes on Samantha in the hospital. Her head is heavily bandaged as a result of the suicide attempt, and the nurse caring for her alludes to Samantha's pregnancy. You can't just stop a satan baby, okay? Then, the credits roll over the image of Samantha in her hospital bed, allowing us to really digest the moment: she fought harder than most women in film, she did everything right, and she tried to end it -- but nothing will stop this pregnancy. It's downright chilling, and I applaud Ti West for making his throwback much more appealing to modern women.

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