Chainsaw remakeIf you’re going to make a period piece, take the time to do it right. The opening of Marcus Nispel‘s 2003 remake of  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre says it is set in 1973, but one look at the outfits they are wearing and you know that it is not. The characters’ language and conversational topics also set this movie clearly in the present day. (Well, ten years ago now, but you get my meaning.)

By contrast, Ti West‘s 2009 release The House of the Devil is set in the 1980’s, and it shows. West did such a good job of removing anything modern from the film that I actually felt I was watching a movie produced in the 80’s. If you haven’t seen it, and you like 80’s horror, I suggest you do. It gave me my first startling “whoa” moment I have had all semester. I won’t tell you when because I would hate to deprive you of the pleasure.HD Snoop

There are a lot of places in the story where West builds artificial suspense.  I kept expecting something to happen and then it didn’t. HD doorLike Jocelin Donahue’s  character, the audience scares itself with anticipation, especially when West shows us what’s behind the doors that Donahue doesn’t open. West also creates a feeling of anticipation by leaving the camera on even after the character has left the frame.

There  are a few slow spots, but in the end there is plenty of blood and a double surprise ending. One I saw coming, the other I didn’t.


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