Magnet just announced their acquisition of director Ti West’s (The Roost) latest film, The House of the Devil.

The film revolves around a college student (Jocelin Donahue) who is strapped for cash and jumps at the chance for a babysitting gig, even if it is at a mansion in the middle of the woods. Even after being creeped out by the owner (Tom Noonan, who’s really hamming it up) after it’s revealed that she has to babysit his mother, she takes the deal. Soon, she finds out what a bad decision that was.

“I’m psyched we found such a great home at Magnolia Pictures,” said director Ti West. “They continue to release interesting and progressive content and have one of the most impressive slates of independent film to date.  They are the perfect fit for THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL.”

The film be available in VOD in late September, and then it will hit theaters near Halloween.
I managed to catch a critic’s screening of it at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, and while the movie does some things rather well it’s far too uneven to be considered great. Of all the 80s throwback films this one might be one of the most faithful, however. The story is very familiar, and there’s really no surprise as to what’s going to happen- just take a look at the title. The film takes a truly leisurely pace in setting things up and does a great job of getting you anxious for what’s about to happen but unfortunately it also brought along the goofy 80s sense of humor, which prevents the scary scenes from being taken seriously. There’s some truly horrific scenes involving cults but every time you think it’s going to do something great something silly comes along that breaks the mood, leaving you rolling your eyes…. or leaving the theater, as many critics did. Course, this is not a film for the mainstream- it’s for the horror junkies that will pick up on all the little homages.

But it’s got some good gore and solid acting, and if you have to choose between this and the latest Saw come Halloween, there’s no question which one you should pick. Check the official site for the trailer.