The House of the Devil - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The House of the Devil Reviews

Top Critic
David Jenkins
Time Out
March 19, 2010
The film's nostalgic design is subtle enough not to dampen the seriously sinister atmospherics.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 17, 2009
In keeping with his models, West is concerned with not suspense exactly but the ritual withholding and ultimate lavishing of bloody chaos.
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 3, 2009
West, a rising young director of minor cult pleasures, comes clean here about his love for all things Bava (Mario) and Carpenter (John).
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
November 19, 2009
There's a payoff in The House of the Devil, if you have the patience. Some of the scenes seem draggy, but the characters are complex, and their motivations are explained.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 12, 2009
Even the familiar tropes of The House of the Devil are familiar in the right way, like an old, bloodstained sweater.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 12, 2009
The film may provide an introduction for some audience members to the Hitchcockian definition of suspense: It's the anticipation, not the happening, that's the fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
October 30, 2009
More concerned with stretching nail-biting suspense to the breaking point than finding new ways of making heads explode.
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
October 30, 2009
Although the payoff is creepy, it takes a little too long to arrive -- and when it does, it's about as worn-out as the movie's title.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
October 30, 2009
The House of the Devil is really a romance: a love letter to the kind of gal we thought had given up the ghost.
Top Critic
Robert Abele
Los Angeles Times
October 30, 2009
West's assured way with widescreen framing, long takes and silences followed by sharp if explainable noise are almost cruelly funny in their heart-stopping pleasures.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
October 29, 2009
After years of vivisectionist splatter, here is a horror movie with real shivers.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 29, 2009
West avoids cliché and cheesiness with wise casting choices. Donahue's naturalistic performance is as persuasive as the subtly sinister portrayals by Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 29, 2009
A slightly faster set-up, and slightly more drawn-out climax, would make this even better.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
October 29, 2009
From the opening statistic about documented instances of devil-worship, West aims for a mix of the plausible and the ridiculous...
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
October 28, 2009
Writer-director Ti West's crisp, economical, satisfying little horror pic reclaims the pleasures of the kind of old-school formula that the jokey Scream franchise deconstructed into satire.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
October 28, 2009
When the Karo syrup finally hits the fan, the film loses its footing some, but only because no concrete explanations could possibly do justice to West's expert buildup.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
October 27, 2009
In the end, this homage to '80s horror is little more than a faithful flashback -- authentic in execution but about as scary as something you saw again and again way back when.
Top Critic
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
October 27, 2009
Gravely gorgeous in the style of a storybook Snow White, Donahue gives eloquent reaction shots and nails West's pièce de résistance -- a bounding, Walkman-soundtracked, Jazzercise dance through the house.
Top Critic
Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
October 26, 2009
The classical structure slowly builds tension before erupting into a decisively gory finish, harkening back to a smarter and more nuanced era of spooky storytelling.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
October 26, 2009
A horror film with no punch.
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
Variety
October 8, 2009
Call it the best '80s babysitter-in-peril movie never made.