I love horror movies from the 1970s and 1980s. Stylistically, they give me exactly what I’m looking for in a scary flick. The problem with my love of these movies is that any modern imitations are typically laughable and over-the top. An exception to this rule is Ti West’s House of the Devil. Released in 2009, it is what I consider to be an ideal scary story. West set out to pay homage to his favorite films from the 80s, and he did an exemplary job.
Every detail of the movie is entirely and realistically 80s, thus it harkens very much to my youngest years. Certain design elements of House of the Devil could have been taken from my childhood home – the long-corded rotary phone, the wood-paneled television set.
One thing that I adore about this movie is its lead actress, Jocelin Donahue. She’s perfect as babysitter and victim, Samantha Hughes. The costume and makeup personnel crafted a perfectly 80s hairstyle and wardrobe for Donahue, and every time I watch House of the Devil I end up wanting high-waisted jeans and feathered hair.
I don’t think the still photos truly capture how charming she is, so here’s my favorite clip from the movie:
If you’re interested in seeing the entire film, it’s on Netflix Watch Instantly right now. If you watch it, let me know what you think!