Yeah so Paranormal Activity sucked, big surprise. Those “found footage” type films have yet to impress me, whether it’s Cloverfield, REC, or The Blair Witch Project. Stupid characters who are so annoying you want them all to die.
Thankfully, there’s a new film that’s coming out in theaters on 10/30 and is currently ON DEMAND called The House of the Devil. This movie is damn near amazing. I first saw the trailer today and there were quotes comparing it to Polanski so it immediately piqued my interest. While the third act is a bit of a let down, the first two acts of the film are superb and nails the tone and style of ’80s horror flicks. I think the comparisons to Polanski are well deserved (at least in terms of direction). Tom Noonan is always great and Dee Wallace needs to be in more mainstream films. Bonus points for the use of The Fixx. And giant kudos to the direction – this guy has got talent.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a straight up great suspenseful horror film. Has anyone else seen The House of the Devil or know anything about this director? This movie just came out of nowhere and honestly I had never heard of it before today.
Wow, Fredo, no, Paranormal Activity did not suck. In fact, it was THE scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
But, I will give The House of the Devil a try, since you praise it so highly.
I was laughing throughout Paranormal Activity. I jumped once, maybe twice. Paramount’s marketing department deserves respect though – they succeeded at duping the masses.
Not only is The House of the Devil the best horror film of the year, I might put it in my top twenty horror films of all time.
Frankly, I wanted to see it because I’d never seen a horror film in theaters, and I could hardly go to sleep. Sorry that you weren’t able to see how fantastic that movie was. That ending will stick in my mind for a long time. And I just don’t understand how you cannot care for the characters. I mean, what would you do in that situation? Did their actions not seem realistic to you?
My first horror film in the theatres will be Nosferatu next next weekend. Not really related but yeah, cannot wait!
My first hour film in theatres was Rush Hour 3.
House of the Devil is fantastic, a nice slow burner ala Polanski a bit weak in the finish, but the build up is great.
I’d also nominate Trick r Treat as a just good old solid fun 80s horror romp.
Top twenty horror films of all time??? Fredo, you are insane. House of the Devil is B-grade 80s wannabe retro schlock. At best, it’s mildly amusing fun. But it’s not even that. The build-up is okay but then it turns into utter pointlessness and then it just completely falls apart. It has nothing to do with Polanski as that would require some kind of psychological depth to the paper thin stock characters. It is utterly nostalgic for 80s hollywood horror and wears those influences on its sleeves (maybe I’d compare it to Demons).
I do love Tom Noonan though.
Director (Ti West) appears to specialize in this kind of straight to video schlock. He did Cabin Fever 2 which is just about appropriate for what he’s going at. He’s done a bunch of other straight to DVD horror films. I saw the film at a festival this past summer. Call me unimpressed. It hasn’t been a good year for horror (at least that I’ve seen) but Drag Me To Hell is 10x the film.
BEST HORROR FILMS OF 2009 SO FAR:
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
DRAG ME TO HELL
I’m inclined to give it a go on your reccommendation Fredo, but I’m not a huge fan of horror films. Recently I liked Let The Right One In a lot. Also The Orphanage. Haven’t seen Antichrist but am interested in doing so. I’ve got Martyrs kicking about somewhere I think. Hated Drag Me To Hell. I find it really difficult to get on board with modern horror films. One of the best horror films I’ve seen recently, though it’s not a recent film is Jack Clayton’s The Innocents. Must be getting old.
I saw ‘The Human Centipede’ at Frightfest, not well-known, but distinctively disturbing.
Just watched ‘Inside’ and that was brilliant. I’m really enjoying modern French horror.
Let The Right One In
No artificial horror comes close to the creepiness of horrifying reality:
CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH (Chuan Lu)
Out of the few I’ve seen: Let the Right One In and Drag Me to Hell. Martyrs, Antichrist, and Grace were pretty much shit.
“No artificial horror comes close to the creepiness of horrifying reality:
CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH (Chuan Lu)"
i will have to agree…i will be seeing Raimi’s film and Paranormal one day or another but i’m not into hype,so for now,as far as horror goes,Chuan Lu’s film is the most memorable….
ahem,Let the Right One In and Martyrs are 2008 film releases,sorry….and Martyrs is actually pretty well-made…
drag me 2 hell is great, haunting in connecticut (based on true story) is also very good and saw 5 has the most gruesome ending of the series
the 3d elements of my bloody valentine were innovative and knowing with nicolas cage had genuinely frightening moments
an old horror i watched this year called dead and buried from 1981 has one of the most horrific twists i have seen
Let the Right One In was a masterpiece, but i consider it a 2008 entry. My favorite this year has to be Drag Me to Hell.
I too consider Let the Right One In a 2008 entry, but you might want to try a low budget film with big ambitions called Deadgirl. Quite frankly the horror films put out the last few years are all rather redundant.
I really don’t think you can apply the term “Shlock” to House of the Devil, retro 80s absolutely.
I think what stands out about HotD is that it isn’t empty rehashed crap like Saw 2-6, or Drag Me to Hell which was the biggest disappointment of the year for me and just served to undermine any faith I had in Raimi as a “horror” director.
A great director, who though he may love the genre, is not the god of the genre so many think he is.
DMtH was basically Evil Dead 3, he didn’t do anything new or innovative, I expected much much more from the man who has had 20+ years to come up with something new and fresh.
HotD on the other hand is something that we haven’t seen come from the US in a very very long time, which is why it stands out for me, it’s potential legacy and a studio’s willingness to invest in something so different from all the other genre shit that they normally squirt out.
I wasn’t nearly as impressed with Human Centipede as most others, I felt it was a bit of a one trick pony.
So we stuck them together… and now what…?
Hmm, I just realized that I haven’t really seen any horror movies that have come out this year, although I’m dying to see “Antichrist”. And I heard “House of the Devil” is pretty good as well. My roommate rented “Drag Me to Hell” and said it was really good but he took it back before I had a chance to see it. Shit, I guess I have some catching up to do!
@UPSTART, I more or less agree with you about Drag Me To Hell but I enjoyed it nevertheless. For me, it was nice to see Raimi go back to his roots and the film was unpretentious fun. When I called it the best horror film I’ve seen this year, it’s because I haven’t seen any ones that I enjoyed better.
But if you’re complaining about Drag Me To Hell for not being new or innovative, I don’t see how you can excuse HotD for the same sins. It is – unapologetically – a 1980s style Satanic horror film (from the acid washed pants of the protagonist to the hairstyles to the music). It does not aspire to be anything more than that either – neither stylistically nor thematically nor acting-wise. So I don’t see how it wasn’t empty and rehashed (even if you found it empty and rehashed fun).
The difference between DMtH and HotD is one was helmed by a renowned, experienced director with a track record of doing innovative work, from Evil Dead to Spiderman, I suppose even Xena to a degree, where as the other is out of left field by a no one director who managed to do what to date, neither Rob Zombie or Tarantino have managed to do, which is properly capture a period of cinematic history.
If House of the Devil came out in 84, it would be a forgotten nothing film. But in 2009, a year lacking decent horror, it stands out.
When genuinely fun, good horror romps like Trick r Treat get shelved for 2 years then finally get a direct to video release, yet Saw 8000 or any of 100 remakes get churned out, maybe with some crap gimmick that didn’t work in the 50s, yes, in light of all that, House of the Devil stands out.
It has it’s flaws, but I am more interested in it’s legacy, the balls that it took to make, the fanboy passion and attention to detail of Ti West.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am in no way saying it’s the best of all time, I would stick it in a top 30 list, but again, mainly because of what it represents and when it came out.
And to quote Ti West “It is a period piece, as much as it is a horror film.”
And Drag Me to Hell had none of that, it wasn’t daring, it wasn’t edgy, it wasn’t scary, it took advantage of every possible jump scare, it wasn’t even passionate. It looked and felt like a film that Raimi had spent years playing with in his head and so when it came down to doing it, he just sleepwalked his way through it.
It was ok, it did what it said on the tin, but the tin was a bit dented, rusted and had been sat on the shelf for far too long.
@FREDO: Just got back from seeing Paranormal Activity…. I had high hopes for a good scare because of all the hype, but I agree with you completely that it was a big letdown. The shaky camera made me really nauseous, so I kept having to look away or close my eyes at times (had the same reaction to Blair Witch). I really wanted it to get scary, but I found myself just getting more and more annoyed with the characters, so that by the end, I had no sympathy for either one of them. It had a couple of creepy moments, but not enough to justify sitting through all of the rest. Your comments about The House of the Devil have me very interested though, so I still have something to look forward to maybe.
Thirst or Drag Me to Hell, probably, but I cannot truly decide until I’ve seen Trick’r’Treat.
I would have to say Let The Right One In (technically released in 2008 but I saw it early 2009). It was not billed as a horror movie and I prefer to call it a Vampire Romance because for me the female lead had shades of the same depth of emotion that was evoked by Gary Oldman in his portrayal of the Count Dracul for his Elizabetta. The scene where she scales the facade of the block of flats and jumps from the bridge really spooked me out for ages afterwards.
I must add “Orphan”.
Great and scary twist in the end.
Pontypool is not only the best of the year, but one of the best horror films ever.
I was freaked out with Paranormal Activity but I couldn’t stop saying to myself that if it weren’t for the soundtrack and the cheap special effects, this movie wouldn’t amount to anything.
There wasn’t a soundtrack to Paranormal Activity, there was hardly any effects as it didn’t need any. Its a lot more original than your standard slasher or 80s horror remake that passes for ‘horror’ these days. Rec 2 was also great.