The House of the Devil

The House of the Devil

house of the devil

Our first request decided by our Patrons is a throwback to the classic Satanic cult pics of the late 70’s, early 80’s from the mind of Ty West. The House of the Devil is a mixed bag, but it does perfectly mimic the style and genre.

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The House Of The Devil (2009)

Episode 296, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd [00:00:25]:
I’m Todd.

Craig [00:00:25]:
And I’m Craig.

Todd [00:00:26]:
Well, today we take on another request. This was requested by Freddie, Darren and Dave. Therefore, we put it, along with a few other films in front of our patrons on Patreon and asked them, which of these would you like us to see? And overwhelmingly, they chose our movie today, the House of the Devil. And no, we are not doing the 1896 George Elias movie, La Manois Deablay, which is, by the way, the very first on screen appearance of a vampire. But no, that one’s only like 3 minutes long. It wouldn’t make for a very long episode. So instead, Todd, we’re doing the 2009 Thai west movie, which is a bit of a retro throwback to those movies of the alone. I enjoyed it.

Todd [00:01:20]:
Now, I had seen this movie before. I watched this movie again during one of those months where I challenged myself to watch a horror movie a day during the month of October. I went back and I looked at my review and at the time I really didn’t care for it. What I wrote at the time was that it was really slow and the payoff took a long time to get to. Up until then, it was more or less just kind of boring and I thought long and drawn out and maybe a little too stylish for its own good. But this time, watching it a second time, I guess maybe I was just more in the mood. Because honestly, this is my kind of movie, right? I mean, this is the kind of movie I really like. I think it’s very reminiscent of old italian horror movies, those satanic type horror movies of the late seventy s and early 80s, like the Omen.

Todd [00:02:11]:
And it’s deliberate. Ty west, the director, very much tried to mimic that style and make a throwback movie that takes place in it seems to be 1983. Sure feels earlier than that.

Craig [00:02:25]:
It does. It feels more late seventy s, but late 70s, early 80s, all kinds around the same time.

Todd [00:02:33]:
There’s no clear definition point where we go from as soon as 1980 comes, everybody needs to put on all their spandex and neon.

Craig [00:02:41]:

Todd [00:02:42]:
Dancing to Debbie Gibson. Right. We get a couple years between to make that transition. But yeah, what I really enjoyed about this movie actually was that it was a bit of a throwback, actually. Strong suspiria vibes from it. And so those movies did tend to take their time and be a little slower. And I guess just this time around I was more in the mood for it. So I think I enjoyed it a lot more.

Todd [00:03:06]:
How about you, Craig? Have you seen this one before?

Craig [00:03:09]:
I have. I’ve seen it before. I imagine I probably saw it around the time that it came out. Or at least around the time that it was released on video. I don’t remember really what my impression was of it at the time. I think I thought it was fine. It is kind of a slow burn, but I think that’s intentional. Like you said, it’s very reminiscent of other films of this style.

Craig [00:03:33]:
First of all, it’s shot on 16 millimeter, right? So it’s got that kind of grittier video feel.

Todd [00:03:44]:
You mean like the film grain type feel, right?

Craig [00:03:47]:
Yeah, right away. And that’s not the only throwback. I mean, the opening credit sequence is very reminiscent of movies from that era where you’ve got the bold yellow typeface introducing each actor with their character name and freeze frames. A long shot of our main character kind of walking through a campus and freeze frames as the names come up. It feels very much in the vein of those types of satanic panic movies that were coming out at this time in response to Rosemary’s baby. Well, just the cultural zeitgeist in general. The movie opens with a statistic, which I have no idea if it’s true or not, but it sounds true. I believe it.

Craig [00:04:39]:
It says, during the 1980s, over 70% of american adults believed in the existence of abusive satanic cults. Another 30 rationalized the lack of evidence due to government cover ups. The following is based on true, unexplained events. Now, that’s.

Todd [00:04:57]:
Yeah, true events is bullshit. But the rest of it. I remember the tail end of the satanic panic when people.

Craig [00:05:06]:
I do, too, vaguely. I remember people worrying about there being like, our children being indoctrinated with satanism in preschools and just weird cults and ritual sacrifices and black masses and orgies and all this kind of crazy stuff. That sounds like great material for a horror movie. But there was a genuine concern that this was really going on under the surface of american society, which on the one hand, seems so stupid. Like, why would anybody think that? But look at. Especially in America, I’m not as worldly as you are, but in America, there are these things like these. These far right conspiracy theories. Pizza gate and all of know the Illuminati.

Todd [00:06:08]:
They exist on the. You know, Bill Gates is out there to murder everybody and put microchips in.

Craig [00:06:16]:
It sounds to me. It sounds ridiculous, but there are really people out there who believe in these things. I don’t get it. I feel like they must have a screw loose, but that doesn’t keep them from getting into Congress.

Todd [00:06:33]:

Craig [00:06:34]:
Right. So I think, know, like you said, like Rosemary’s baby, like the omen, the Exorcist, all these other movies, it feels very much like it legitimately could have come from that era, almost like it’s kind of a forgotten film from that era. And I think that in his attempt to do that, and I think that he does it out of a love for those kind of films, I think he’s successful. On that note. Yeah. By today’s standards, it’s pretty slow, but it does a lot to establish atmosphere and suspense. And then there is a payoff. The last 1015 minutes get pretty exciting, but you do have to be patient and wait for it.

Craig [00:07:19]:
And I know we’ve talked about this movie has come up in our conversations before, and you have specifically said you didn’t want to do it, and that may have been based on your first experience, but it always kind of surprised me because you like ty west. One of his other movies that we did, you recommended to me the innkeeper.

Todd [00:07:38]:
Oh, God.

Craig [00:07:38]:
And we both really liked that. It, too, was very suspenseful and atmospheric and haunted housey. Yeah. Yeah.

Todd [00:07:46]:
But the difference between the innkeepers and this movie is this movie is basically focusing around one girl pretty much the whole time. The innkeepers is very much kind of a buddy movie where we’re with two people in that inn. And so it’s like, yeah, the ghost story to me, for that movie almost took a bit of a backseat to just the characters were so interesting and fun, and seeing them hang out by themselves in this. In there was this other level to it, whereas this movie, it’s just basically, this babysitter is in this house for a really long time. In fact, it takes her almost 30 minutes to even get to the House of the devil. And it takes about 30 minutes to get to what you would see in a movie now. Would intentionally whip through in, like, the first five, right? Literally like the first five. I think it’s almost a mantra right now that you need to get right to the point as fast as possible and avoid all this exposition and let the character stuff kind of come out later.

Todd [00:08:48]:
Whereas I feel like earlier movies, particularly the movies of the 70s, which many people would argue is a renaissance just for film in general. Oh, my God, there were so many interesting movies in the. Was at least a thread of them, obviously very exploitative, as well as movies that were just very character centric. And so they really took their time in the beginning to just hang out with, get to know some character, get interested in them, and then throw them into a messed up situation that they have to deal with now. It’s like we get the situation there right away. And I feel like most screenwriting teachers today will teach that you need to develop character through the problem, through the action, through whatever they’re going through. That’s how we’ll learn about the character. By seeing how they interact with others and how they deal with these problems.

Todd [00:09:39]:
Whereas this movie seems to take a long time setting up this girl, whose name is Samantha, as this pretty much broke, kind of despondent college student who just is worried about how she’s going to pay for anything down in her money. And I’m not sure what else. But in any case, she just seems very lonely and very sad. But not like depressed. Just like how many of us didn’t feel this way in college at some point?

Craig [00:10:04]:
Exactly. Just very real life. It seems like she’s living in the dorms. She is played, by the way, by an actress named Jocelyn Donahue, who I didn’t specifically recognize, but she’s done some stuff. She was in doctor’s sleep, which I love that movie. She was in a couple of the insidious movies. So she’s been around. She’s cute.

Todd [00:10:26]:
She’s got a very Karen Allen look in this movie. Don’t you think?

Craig [00:10:29]:
She does, yeah, I was just going to say she has a very 70s aesthetic. The pretty thin, long haired brunette. Every girl. She’s definitely a beautiful girl, but she looks like somebody that you would run into on a college campus.

Todd [00:10:45]:
Yeah. Authentic.

Craig [00:10:46]:
Yeah. She’s living in the dorms, but she wants to get out. And her roommate is a slob. And you just don’t even really see anything of her roommate. Aside from the fact that she’s like hoeing around and her half of the room is just disgusting. Whereas Samantha’s half of the room is pristine. So she wants to get out, but of know, just like all. Well, everybody I knew in college.

Craig [00:11:13]:
Money’s um. But she’s looking around the very opening scene, she’s looking at an apartment. Looks like a nice apartment. Probably more expensive than I could have afforded in college. And the realtor is played in a cameo by Dee Wallace. Yeah, I love her. And I had forgotten that she was in it. And so to see her was just a treat.

Craig [00:11:36]:
I knew. Even not remembering, I knew. I’m like, oh, she’s going to play the realtor in this first 5 minutes and then we’re never going to see her again. And that’s absolutely true. Even though she gets really high billing as she should, of course.

Todd [00:11:49]:
Right. Well, know d. Wallace is expensive nowadays, so he probably couldn’t afford to have her in the movie too long.

Craig [00:11:57]:

Todd [00:11:57]:
Because I think the movie was made for, like, less than a million bucks. It was really, really low budget.

Craig [00:12:02]:
And for being so low budget, it actually looks good. Ty west, he wrote this. He directed it, he edited it. This was very much kind of a one man project. Now, obviously, that’s an overstatement. I’m sure there were many people working behind the scenes, but it’s his vision.

Todd [00:12:18]:

Craig [00:12:18]:
His sole vision, right? Very much. She gets this apartment. The realtor is ridiculously nice. Like, she agrees to waive all the deposits and things so long as she can put down the first month’s rent, which is $300, which is totally fair. But she doesn’t have $300, which does.

Todd [00:12:37]:
Make you wonder, what in the hell was her plan? I mean, you want to get out of the job so bad, you were as broke and as. Without funds as you say you are, forget about that first 300. How are you planning on coming up with the next 300?

Craig [00:12:49]:
Yeah, well, she says because she meets up, she walks around the campus for a long time so we can see the credits. And on a bulletin board, an outdoor college campus bulletin board, she sees a flyer that just says, babysitter needed. That’s it. Nothing else. And then it’s got the slips of paper you can tear off with the phone number on it.

Todd [00:13:09]:
So classic.

Craig [00:13:10]:
Yeah, well, and I mean, as far as I know, that’s still a thing. I remember checking out those bulletin boards for stuff all the time.

Todd [00:13:19]:
How long ago, Craig?

Craig [00:13:22]:
22 years. Something like that.

Todd [00:13:24]:
So this thing that was 22 years ago is still a thing?

Craig [00:13:28]:
Why wouldn’t it be? Really? What of advancements have we made? Yeah, but she calls the number from a payphone, and she gets an answering service, and she leaves her name and her number and says that she’s interested in the job or whatever, and she starts walking away from the payphone, and then it starts ringing. Now that. Right away, to me, I don’t know. Can you even do that? Can you? Star 69 a payphone.

Todd [00:14:00]:

  1. I remember when star 69 came out. That was either late eighty s or early 90s. Before you could actually, without going through a whole lot of effort, you had to dial the operator and all this stuff. Know the number that just called you, which actually sounds insane when you think about it now, right?

Craig [00:14:21]:
She goes back, she answers the phone, and this very calm male voice says, we’re desperate. We really need somebody. Can you meet me on campus? I’m not terribly familiar, but I know I can find, like the student union building. And she says, yeah, I know where that is. I’ll meet you there. So she runs home real quick to grab something, and then she goes to the meeting place and she sits there for what seems like must be a very long time. And eventually she just gives up and leaves. She gets stood up and she goes and she meets with her friend whose name is Megan.

Todd [00:14:53]:

Craig [00:14:54]:
Yeah, Megan, who’s played by Greta Gerwig. And I didn’t recognize her, but that name sounded so familiar. I’m like, why is that name so familiar? Well, she is a working actress, but actually right now she’s a very successful director. She just got a lot of acclaim for the newest iteration of little women. She also directed Ladybird, which was hugely successful on a critical level. She’s in production on a movie, like a live action Barbie movie, which has been in the works for a really long time.

Todd [00:15:28]:
Oh, wow.

Craig [00:15:28]:
So she’s really kind of hot in Hollywood right now. But it’s interesting. We talked about this before, too. Ty west is among this group of young filmmakers who seem two be peers and fans of one another. And they help each other out, and you see them pop up in one another’s movies all the time.

Todd [00:15:52]:
They’ll, like, write for each other or they’ll be actors in each other’s crazy, right?

Craig [00:15:57]:
Yeah, I think. I think I could be wrong. I think Ty west appeared in your next. He did, which was directed by another one of these guys, Adam Wingard, I think.

Todd [00:16:09]:

Craig [00:16:09]:
Uh huh. And then one of the actors from your next, one of the main actors, the guy who plays Crispin, is in this movie and has a pretty prominent role. I’m just fascinated. Like, I want to be their friend. They’re probably about our age.

Todd [00:16:28]:
It seems like they’d be cool.

Craig [00:16:30]:
Yeah, we should give them a call.

Todd [00:16:32]:
We should actually, we should get them on here. Do you think they get on our.

Craig [00:16:35]:
Podcast with, you know, I wouldn’t be surprised if they would, but. So Sam explains the whole thing to Megan. Megan apparently comes from a Wealthy family, and she’s like, you know, I can always just get my dad to give you some money, but she won’t take it. Yeah. She’s like, we’re not there yet. Let’s see what happens.

Todd [00:16:56]:
And can we talk for a second about the setting? I mean, they do a fantastic job with the limited budget of really setting this late 70s, early 80s tone. The pizza place where they’re sitting in and eating is just like a pizza place from my early childhood.

Craig [00:17:11]:
Oh, yeah.

Todd [00:17:12]:
The coke cups that are wax covered and stuff, which I guess they had to buy on eBay or something.

Craig [00:17:18]:

Todd [00:17:19]:
Just the hairstyles and everything. And that music at the beginning is so good.

Craig [00:17:27]:
It is. But it’s funny, it’s typical of these types of movies because it feels a little bit cheap. Like they had to hire an inexpensive composer for this original music. And it’s really just kind of the same melody on a loop. But it is perfect for the style.

Todd [00:17:47]:
Of movie because of nostalgia. Right. It sounds like an Argento movie. It sounds like, honestly, like the score from any one of those italian jalo movies that we watched, but sounds cheap deliberately. Just like the movie kind of looks cheap, right?

Craig [00:18:01]:
Yeah. But again, like, in a nostalgic way, it only looks cheap by today’s standards.

Todd [00:18:07]:

Craig [00:18:07]:
By the standards of the day, it looks fine. I mean, that’s what movies looked like. Or at least the movies that I watched.

Todd [00:18:14]:
The low budget movies. These kind of movies. Yeah. They weren’t right.

Craig [00:18:19]:
I actually really enjoyed it.

Todd [00:18:21]:
Me, too.

Craig [00:18:22]:
It felt very retro, like I was watching something retro and cool.

Todd [00:18:26]:
Oh, I know. Same here. Same here. I like when they’re having this discussion over the pizza. And I thought it’d be significant, but. Oh, I think it is kind of an interesting, significant point. And this just occurred to me. But there’s this point in here where Megan is like, God, this pizza tastes awful today.

Todd [00:18:42]:
And I think that is a slight bit of foreshadowing for a later.

Craig [00:18:47]:

Todd [00:18:48]:
But anyway, like, one thing that she also says that’s quite foreshadowing is, did.

Craig [00:18:53]:
You go to the job board at the intern office? That ham face girl, you know, in my class? Yeah. She said there’s good stuff there sometimes. No, I haven’t been yet. Although it’d be cool to get something easy and under the table. That’s what was so good about the babysitter thing. Yeah, but it could have been awful. It could be from hell.

Todd [00:19:15]:

Craig [00:19:19]:
I love that. I don’t think I caught that the first time around, but it’s hilarious.

Todd [00:19:23]:
And she suggests just going around and tearing all of his posters down just to spite him.

Craig [00:19:27]:
Yeah, just because he was a dick. Just because he stood her up, which. That is kind of a dick move.

Todd [00:19:32]:
It is a dick move.

Craig [00:19:33]:
So she ends up getting a call from this guy again. Her roommate gives her a message that he’s called again. She calls back and he says, we are desperate. We need somebody tonight. It’ll be an easy job. And I’ll pay double what I would normally pay. I’ll pay $100 for the night. And she’s like, okay, cool.

Craig [00:19:53]:
He gives her the address. She gets Megan to drive her out there. Now it’s also out kind of in the middle of nowhere. And I like that Megan is the smart friend. She kind of seems like the fun, wild friend, too, but she’s also the smart one.

Todd [00:20:08]:
She’s street smart.

Craig [00:20:09]:
Yeah. You’re a young girl going out into the middle of nowhere. Two, do a job for these people you’ve never met. You don’t have any idea what is going to happen. She says, just let me stay with you. She’s like, you don’t have to split the money with me or anything. We’ll hang out. We’ll eat some pizza.

Craig [00:20:27]:
I just want to make sure everything’s kosher. Sam’s like, well, let’s play it. Let’s feel it out. Megan also confesses that she did go around and take down all of the other posters.

Todd [00:20:42]:
She has them all in the car. It’s funny, but at the same point, by now we are 30 minutes into the movie. It’s been a long time. And most of it has just been following Samantha around, looking pensive and laying down in her bed and staring up at the ceiling and going out, going to the bathroom, turning on all the sinks and crying, talking to herself in the mirror, walking around on campus some more. I mean, it’s a lot of that that feels like. And again, I think intentionally because it’s very typical of these old movies, but again, it feels like that kind of filler. All right, we get it. She is despondent in some way over money and stressed.

Todd [00:21:19]:
Yeah, it takes a while to get to this point. And I think with the first time I watched this movie, I just wasn’t in the mood. I’m like, oh, my know, just show me some action today. I mean, sure, I’m stuck in my apartment. I’ve been stuck in my apartment for almost a week now because I’m in China and they found some cases close to me and they told everybody in our community we got to stay inside. So I had nothing better to do. And I was really in the mood to just sit and enjoy something intensely.

Craig [00:21:45]:
Yeah, I think that’s right. I do think you have to be in the mood if you’ve got other things on your mind, if you’ve got other things to do, I can see how you would be looking at your watch. But if you’re in it, you explained your circumstance. So I’ll explain mine. I’m at work right now because I don’t know if this is just a thing that happens in my area or what, but it’s always been this way at my school. I only teach seniors. I only teach college level classes. So I only teach seniors.

Craig [00:22:20]:
And it’s the end of the school year, and our seniors get out at least a week before the rest of the students in order to give the teachers time to grade finals and final essays and stuff like that so that we can be prepared for graduation the following weekend. But what that means for me is I’m still contracted to be here, but I don’t have anything to do. I don’t have anybody to teach. My classes are over except sit here.

Todd [00:22:48]:
And talk about horror movies with me.

Craig [00:22:50]:
Except sit here with a sign on my door that says, I’m in a Zoom meeting.

Todd [00:22:56]:
You kind of technically are.

Craig [00:22:59]:
I mean, I am, right?

Todd [00:23:00]:
Yeah. We’re doing literary criticism here, Craig.

Craig [00:23:04]:
Right. So I have all the time. I read a book yesterday. I watched this movie yesterday. It’s all good. I’m here if anybody needs help. But I’m not like going around. Be like, hey, got something for me to do? Anyway, they get to the house and it’s a big.

Craig [00:23:22]:
I read some review that said it’s like the house of the Seven Gables, minus like three gables.

Todd [00:23:30]:
Four gables. That’s about right. It’s like a victorian style farmhouse, sort of like middle american. Typical stuff you’d find in Iowa if you drive through the really well kept neighborhoods.

Craig [00:23:44]:
Yeah, right. We should also mention that on the radio on the way there, they heard on the radio news about an eclipse that’s happening that night. And Megan’s even like, oh, my God, I’m so sick of hearing about this eclipse. Are you going to watch the eclipse?

Todd [00:24:05]:
Obviously we get sick of hearing about the eclipse. I know. Stick it in a bit much in.

Craig [00:24:10]:
A movie called the House of the Devil. Like, you have to imagine that this is going to in some way be significant. But they get to the house and they knock on the door. They go up there together. They knock on the door. And I loved this, actually may be one of my favorite shots, the way that it’s shot. He shoots the girls in profile from the side. And the door opens and a hand extends, I think, like for a handshake.

Craig [00:24:35]:
And a very calm, quiet male voice greets them. But you don’t see him right away. You just see them looking at him and just him kind of being concealed. And it’s not like it’s an extended moment. It’s just a matter of seconds, but it just kind of made his character all that much more mysterious from the get go. It was a little ominous.

Todd [00:25:01]:
They’re like, what does he look like? Why are they looking at him so weird? What’s going on? He’s tall. I think that’s the main thing. He’s really, really tall.

Craig [00:25:08]:
He’s played by Tom Noonan, and that name is so familiar to me. And I know that he’s done a lot, but I couldn’t peg him. I didn’t know where I knew him so much.

Todd [00:25:19]:
Well, he was in Robocop two. I remember him from FX. That’s like a mid 80s movie, but it’s a great movie. And then I think he also played the Frankenstein’s monster in the monster squad, of all things.

Craig [00:25:31]:
I think you’re right. That’s what I know him from. That’s what I know him from. Like you said, he’s tall, but he’s not particularly threatening looking.

Todd [00:25:44]:
He seems like quite the opposite, really. He seems like a kind of very soft spoken old man.

Craig [00:25:50]:
Sure. And he welcomes them. And he says, what a relief to get this night behind us. But he’s excited about the eclipse. But he immediately asks if he can speak to Sam alone.

Todd [00:26:03]:
I hope you don’t have a problem, but you have to understand that I’m only paying one person for their time.

Craig [00:26:09]:
Oh, yeah. No, Megan’s not staying. She’s just my ride. I don’t have a car, so she was just dropping me off.

Todd [00:26:19]:
Oh, good. And please forgive me for sounding rude. It’s just that my wife is very on edge about this whole situation.

Craig [00:26:32]:
You’re not being rude. I understand.

Todd [00:26:35]:
Unfortunately, no, I’m afraid you don’t.

Craig [00:26:39]:
Excuse me. And then he confesses. Two her. And he’s like, please don’t freak out, but we don’t really have a kid. He’s like, no, we do have a kid, but our kid has grown. What I really need you here for is to take care of my wife’s elderly mother. And he said, I advertised for elder care, but nobody is interested in doing that. For whatever reason, he’s like, so I thought maybe the babysitting angle would get somebody.

Craig [00:27:12]:
And you called, and another girl called, and I was going to go with the other girl, but as soon as she found out what the job really was, she took off. And I really desperately need you. And I really liked that. At first, Sam’s like, no.

Todd [00:27:35]:
She’S actually smart for a while.

Craig [00:27:36]:
She is.

Todd [00:27:37]:
She’s not a stupid person. She’s just maybe a little slightly more reckless or trusting than her friend.

Craig [00:27:43]:
Well, I think desperate. Too. Desperate. Desperate for money. And he just assures her, he’s like, you don’t even have to do anything. She’s fine. She can take care of herself. She’s very private.

Craig [00:27:56]:
If she needs anything, she’ll take care of it. He’s like, I just need you to be here in case there’s an emergency, somebody to call 911 and take care of things. And she still says, look, I don’t have any experience. I really don’t feel comfortable doing this. And he says, all right, I’ll double the money. I’ll give you $200. And she doesn’t really say anything. And he’s like, fine, $300.

Craig [00:28:22]:
And she just looks at him and says, 400 and $400 in the early 80s.

Todd [00:28:32]:

Craig [00:28:33]:

Todd [00:28:33]:
I would do it now. Would you do it for. I do it for 400. It’s 4 hours.

Craig [00:28:37]:
I know.

Todd [00:28:37]:
4 hours.

Craig [00:28:38]:
Yeah. You can’t blame her. She needs money. I thought when he hit 300, I’m like, bam, there’s the rent. You can’t turn that down. But I like that she knew he was desperate. She could get another $100 out of him. And she does.

Todd [00:28:54]:
Well, Megan’s pissed. But that’s what she says to her.

Craig [00:28:58]:
Megan, come on. Wait a second. Are you out of your mind? Do you remember the game plan? The game plan was, if they’re weird, we leave. This is beyond weird. It’s mental. You know, they lied to you. They lied to you. I know you’re right.

Craig [00:29:11]:
But it’s $400. It’s $400 for 4 hours. This equals first month’s rent and then some. And all I have to do is sit inside and watch tv. It’s too good to be true. Did you ever think, it is too good to be true? But she’s like, well, I’m doing it. You can be mad at me. I understand, but please just come back and pick me up at 1230.

Craig [00:29:33]:
And she says she will. Now, I’m not exactly clear on what happens next, it seemed to me was Megan’s plan to drive away, but to just drive a little bit down the road and wait in the car, I’m not sure.

Todd [00:29:46]:
It seemed like she was cursing something. I thought maybe something happened with her car. It was overheating or something. She needed to pull over. I’m not really sure, but she did seem to be cursing something. Or she needed her cigarette or. I don’t know what it was. But you’re right.

Todd [00:29:58]:
She ends up pulling away into a graveyard that they had passed by very, very near to the house and just sits there and pulls out a cigarette. You might be right, though. I didn’t really think about that part. But anyway, she pulls way into the graveyard, and she sits there and lights a cigarette, using the car cigarette lighter. I just love these little moments throw in there that are so retro. And then suddenly a hand shows up in her window that’s rolled down with a lighter and scares the crap out of her. And Megan being Megan, I would have thought, actually that she would have been a lot more freaked out here and a lot more distrustful of this guy. That’s one criticism I have here.

Todd [00:30:34]:
It seems a little against character that as soon as this guy shows up, he’s like a younger guy with a beard and whatever, and pretty friendly, but he’s out in the middle of nowhere in this graveyard in the middle of the night. Like, why would she be so trusting of him after. Oh, God, you scare me. All right, whatever. He’s like, it’s cold out here. Which seems to insinuate, like he wants her to let him into the car. And she just looks at him and goes, yeah, okay. And anyway, she lights her cigarette, she hands a lighter back to him, and he says, aren’t you the babysitter? And she says, no, I’m not.

Todd [00:31:14]:
And immediately he whips out a gun and blasts her in the head.

Craig [00:31:17]:
Blows her head off before you can even blink.

Todd [00:31:21]:
It’s gross and sudden and interesting. And that gets your attention. Like a movie that has been so slow up to this point, and you’re just kind of wondering, all right, well, it’s a creepy guy in a creepy house. And, yeah, we get. I mean, even in the house it’s slow. That whole bit was she was eating candy. I thought that’d be significant. Anyway, at the end of the day, she gets her head completely blown off.

Todd [00:31:40]:
So suddenly, whoa, shit’s getting real now. And the guy then hops in and starts to pull the car away. So, like, okay, something very sinister is happening. Probably has something to do with the eclipse, right?

Craig [00:31:51]:
But then the next, what, half hour is really just Sam walking around the house, occupying herself? Yeah. And I say that, and that sounds super boring, and I guess you could argue that it is, but the house, it looks great. I don’t know. It looks like some old spinster lady has lived there and hasn’t changed anything in 20 years.

Todd [00:32:24]:
It’s a classic looking house. It’s got stained glass windows and the whole nine yards. These really elaborate wooden banisters. Kind of a second level. It has sort of a little greenhouse in the second floor. On the outside, you’re taken past all these parts. Oh, she flips open a light, and there’s a pool table in there. And then she goes crazy, like, putting on her headphones and dancing around and playing pool.

Todd [00:32:48]:
There’s, like, a slight pool montage. I think they’re trying to make the house into, like, a character. Yeah, maybe, but it never really achieves that. I think, again, I felt very suspiria vibes here, but not in a good way. Like, suspiria has some real tension and some real mysterious things happen.

Craig [00:33:09]:

Todd [00:33:10]:
And here it’s kind of the same thing, but without the tension.

Craig [00:33:14]:
Right. I think you’re absolutely right. And it’s trying to set up this haunted house vibe. It’s very dark. It’s dimly lit. There are places, like when she’s in the kitchen, the lights are on and it’s bright. But the rest of the house is pretty dimly lit. I think they’re trying to go for the haunted house vibe.

Craig [00:33:32]:
She’s hearing things, but nothing so bizarre that you would really be terribly concerned. Like, first of all, it’s an old house. Old houses make noise. Secondly, she knows she’s not alone. There is somebody else in the house. So it could be the old woman making noise. This whole thing. The old woman upstairs was giving me major burnt offerings vibes.

Craig [00:33:59]:
Like Mrs. Allardyce in the attic or whatever.

Todd [00:34:04]:
What a great movie.

Craig [00:34:05]:
Yeah. But again, not much happens. She does. At one point, she breaks a vase and she goes to clean it up. And in cleaning it up, she finds some photographs. And I didn’t understand what was happening here. I had to read about it to understand. I think.

Todd [00:34:27]:
I know. I don’t read about it, but I think she finds these photographs in the attic, and they’re of a family. It’s like two people and a kid, but they’re clearly not the couple that she met. Oh, I guess we forgot to say that. His wife comes in. Yeah, Vivian. Before he leaves, his wife comes in the back door. Well, like, I don’t know, through the kitchen or something.

Todd [00:34:49]:
And kind of surprises her while she’s waiting. And he’s upstairs talking to mother. This is Mary Warren off, who’s another great cameo. And she’s been in a lot of movies that we’ve reviewed.

Craig [00:35:01]:
Shopping mall, night of the comet.

Todd [00:35:04]:
I think she was the wife in. She just. She popped up in all of those, pretty much almost every other movie I would see on USA up all night, like, would have her in it. It seemed like whether it was a horror movie or a sex comedy, it was like she’d be in it. And.

Craig [00:35:21]:

Todd [00:35:21]:
So she has kind of this role where she sits down, she gets kind of cozy to her and is talking to her and is asking her all these personal questions about how old is she? And, oh, she likes school. And you look like you might be too young to be in college. And she’s kind of touching her hair and touching her shoulder. And all this is filmed, like much of this movie. And like many of the movies of these era, they would really get close on someone’s face. Lots of really close, tight shots to show you the expressions on people’s faces and their eyes and to kind of imply extra emotional significance. And so it is a bit of a creepy scene. She comes off as pretty creepy.

Craig [00:35:59]:
Yeah. One of the things that I wanted to ask you, because I don’t really know the difference, I read that another one of the old school techniques that west used was that he did a lot of zoom shots where it would zoom up in close on a character as opposed two today, it’s more common for those shots to be done using a dolly now.

Todd [00:36:25]:

Craig [00:36:27]:
I understand you push zoom or adjust the lens or whatever to zoom. And I understand that a dolly, you physically move the camera, but is there a significant difference in effect?

Todd [00:36:43]:
Yeah, I mean, if you saw it side by side, you’d immediately know it. A zoom essentially just blows up the picture so it looks like you’re getting closer, but it’s just really more or less blowing up the picture. And whereas a dolly, when you’re physically moving the camera through, you can to some extent see objects go past the camera.

Craig [00:37:00]:
Okay, that makes sense.

Todd [00:37:01]:
And so you’ll see a continual sort of change of perspective as though you’re moving through the room, whereas a zoom very much just looks like you’re blowing up the shot.

Craig [00:37:11]:
Got you.

Todd [00:37:12]:
And I think that’s why it’s not used so much anymore, is because it doesn’t have quite the emotional impact, although I would argue it has its place. But it’s mostly the effect nowadays tends to look a little more corny. But, yeah, you’re right, they do use a lot of zoom in this as well. He’s really judicious with it. And I thought, to good effect, getting.

Craig [00:37:32]:
Back to those photographs. Like you said, it’s a family. And at least one of the pictures, it’s a family standing in front of the car that they had seen when they pulled up and that the almonds or whatever their names had got into. Right.

Todd [00:37:52]:
So it seems to kind of show that this picture shows a family that’s no longer living in the house. Well, you would think, okay, well, the house has new owners, except the new owners also have this car. Why would that be?

Craig [00:38:05]:
Right. And she goes out and she looks and she sees that there’s a van out there. And we see that that guy who killed Megan is still lingering around.

Todd [00:38:15]:
He’s, like, lingering.

Craig [00:38:16]:
Yeah. She also, at some point, orders pizza because Mr. Almond had told her to, like, three or four times.

Todd [00:38:23]:
He mentions it several times, and it comes off as a guy who’s just a little absent minded.

Craig [00:38:28]:
Yeah. Or maybe even in the early stages.

Todd [00:38:31]:
Of dementia, which he might be, but possibly the fact that he is suggesting pizza. So many, including on his way out the door.

Craig [00:38:39]:
By the way, don’t forget the pizza slam. I think it’s very soon after this that she’s cleaning up the stuff and she’s still hearing noises. And she’s kind of looking around and she’s scared. I mean, I’ve done that. I’ve babysat, not since I was a teenager, but big old houses in the woods, and you do kind of freak yourself out when you hear all these noises and stuff. So she’s walking around with this knife. At one point, she stands outside a door on the second or third floor, and she knocks lightly on it and says, Mrs. Almond.

Craig [00:39:15]:
Which doesn’t make sense because he said it was his wife’s mom. So it shouldn’t be Mrs. Ullman. But whatever, it doesn’t matter. There’s no response. And she doesn’t go in the room, but the camera does. And we see, well, first of all, it’s very dark. I mean, you definitely get the impression for sure, without question, there are bodies in there.

Todd [00:39:37]:
It’s three bodies, and one of them has been cut open and is in the middle of a pentagram spread out as though it’s like a ritualistic killing. And then two other bodies next to it. And I got the impression that this was the family from that photograph.

Craig [00:39:50]:
I think so. I think that these people are not who they claim to be. Actually, I know that because I’ve seen the rest of the movie, but they’re not who they claim to be. And I don’t think this isn’t their house. They came here and killed the owners of the house and are now posing as the owners of the house.

Todd [00:40:07]:

Craig [00:40:08]:
Why is this a special location? Maybe this particular area is the best place to experience the eclipse? I have no idea.

Todd [00:40:19]:
Well, he more or less says that right directly to her. When the two girls are there and he’s sitting with them, one of the first things he mentions to them is, oh, he implies that they’re going to see the eclipse and that’s why they’re here. And he says, oh, you guys are so lucky. Like, this is the best place in the world to view the eclipse. It’s like an astronomer’s paradise.

Craig [00:40:37]:
That’s right.

Todd [00:40:39]:
Are you an astronomer? And he’s like, no, not exactly. Can you come into the kitchen, please? Yeah.

Craig [00:40:47]:
And she keeps getting spooked out by things. Like, I feel like at one point, she finds a bunch of hair in one of the bathtubs.

Todd [00:40:54]:
Yeah. It slips back into this.

Craig [00:40:56]:

Todd [00:40:57]:
It’s almost like the movie needed to provide the audience some jolts in order to keep us from falling asleep. Like, her friend gets shot. Okay. And then that sustains us through 20 more minutes of her just wandering around the house and mildly being spooked. And then, oh, we see that that family is slaughtered on the other side of the door. And that then is supposed to sustain us through another 20 minutes of her doing the same thing.

Craig [00:41:22]:
But eventually the pizza comes. We don’t see the pizza guy until after she’s already taken the pizza. But when she closes the door, we see that the pizza guy was the guy who killed Megan. So all of this seems. It’s becoming very obvious that this is all some sort of setup. I mean, not that it’s not really kind of suggested from the beginning. I mean, it is, but the pieces are starting to come together. And she takes, like, a bite of the pizza and sits downs to watch tv.

Craig [00:41:53]:
But then she makes, like, a sour puss face, like, the pizza doesn’t taste good. She takes it and she throws it away. And she drinks a bunch of water. Kind of rinses her mouth out again. Noises. She’s looking around, but I don’t remember if something particularly scary happens. Oh, yes. She goes up to the attic and she pulls the string for, like, the hanging light, and it blows a fuse.

Craig [00:42:18]:
But it takes out all the electricity in the whole house except for she’s standing near a door, and there’s still something illuminated. And she sees footsteps walking by.

Todd [00:42:29]:

Craig [00:42:29]:
So she’s very frightened. She runs out, but at the same time, she’s clearly getting dizzy. And it’s completely obvious that the pizza was drugged. And she is drugged now, and she eventually passes out on the floor.

Todd [00:42:44]:
I have to feel at this point, are we about and hour and 20 minutes into this 90 minutes movie?

Craig [00:42:49]:
Oh, it’s almost over.

Todd [00:42:51]:
Yeah, almost over right now. And then when she wakes up, actually, I liked, again, it was very stylish. And once again, movies from this era did these kind of cool stylistic things a lot of times because they didn’t have a lot of money to do other things. But the lights are flashing. Not literally, but there’s a flash of a red moon two or three times, and then a flash of a candlelight and then a flash of her. And she’s laying on the floor, gagged and bound across a pentagram. And it just goes on full on satanic cult at this point.

Craig [00:43:22]:
She’s surrounded by lit candles. She’s in a white dress. And it is. I mean, they don’t waste any time. She wakes up, she starts screaming. The almonds come in in dark, hooded robes. It’s the couple, the older couple, both of them, and the younger guy who killed Megan, who they never. I don’t think they ever say this, but it’s their son.

Craig [00:43:47]:
Must be their adult son. He’s billed as Victor, but I don’t even remember if they ever say his name. And then the old lady character is there too. And I don’t even know what. She doesn’t just look like an old lady. She looks like some sort of demony witch. Monstrous. She’s got this monstrous face that had to have been done with prosthetics.

Craig [00:44:16]:
And I don’t know if it was meant. If she was, like, some sort of demon or some sort of witch or if she’s just horribly disfigured for other reasons. I have no idea. But it’s this whole ritual where the witch lady pulls up her dress and draws a pentagram in blood on her abdomen, places a goat skull on her abdomen, cuts herself and bleeds into the goat skull and then forces Samantha to drink it. And all this, like, in a minute. And then Sam thrashes her arms and legs around, frees herself of the binds and grabs a knife and I’m pretty sure stabs the old lady and then runs out, stabs Mr. Ullman on her way out.

Todd [00:45:09]:
Yeah, she’s quite efficient at this. Loses the knife. Must have lost the knife in him, right? Because she runs up into the kitchen. She trips over for some odd reason. The son dragged her friend’s body, all blood filled and everything, into the kitchen at the top of the stairs. And she trips over her friend’s body. She’s like, oh, no. My God.

Todd [00:45:28]:
Megan grabs the knife where she had left it on the table starts to run upstairs, which I’m not quite sure why. And then as she kind of trips over the stairs and is up on the landing and on her back, the guy comes up who’s kind of San’s eye at this point with his gun and shoots her straight in the shoulder and she falls back. But then as he approaches her, she just slashes him in the jugular and takes him out.

Craig [00:45:56]:
Yeah, I forgot on her way out she had gouged his eye out with her thumb. But yeah, she’s quite effective. I was very surprised that he shot her, first of all, because you typically don’t see guns in these types of movies.

Todd [00:46:12]:

Craig [00:46:12]:
It’s usually some other type of weapon. So when he just pulled out a gun and shot her, I was shocked. Of course, she gets shot in the shoulder. She like jerks back for a second and then she’s fine for the rest of the movie. But yeah, she picks up the knife off the floor and just swings her whole arm around. Just slices his throat wide open and he dies. She runs again upstairs, I think. Then the mom, they end up in a room together.

Craig [00:46:43]:
Does the mom kind of take her out momentarily?

Todd [00:46:46]:
Not really. She’s just kind of laying there and she just goes up to her and she’s just like, no matter what you do, it won’t stop. It can’t be stopped. It’s going to work in Spidey, you little bitch. And then mom just walks towards the window, takes her wig off and starts praying to the moon. Just totally leaving her back exposed for Samantha to just stand up and stab her in the back, which she does. And so she’s taken out. But then she runs downstairs and she’s chased by Mr.

Todd [00:47:13]:
Allman. And they go down to the graveyard and there’s kind of a little showdown in the graveyard. But by now she’s picked up the, you know, he’s, again, still very soft spoken. He seems very calm, more or less about the situation.

Craig [00:47:26]:
She’s having visions of the witch lady and it’s quick, like flashes of just that woman’s face and blood and weird stuff. It reminded me of the Exorcist. Just those really quick flashes of the demon’s face. These are maybe a lit second longer. In the exorcist they were almost subliminal. They’re not subliminal here. You certainly see it, but there’s clearly something happening. What have you done in there?

Todd [00:48:08]:
They’re calling to you. Just listen to them. You’ve given the sign he’s chosen you. It’s your destiny to accept him.

Craig [00:48:20]:

Todd [00:48:22]:
Okay, go ahead. Go ahead. Kill me if you want. I’m just a messenger who carries out his words.

Craig [00:48:29]:
She’s also having stomach pains. It’s obvious that she is supposed to carry the devil’s child or something.

Todd [00:48:38]:
She’s like a five minute Rosemary’s baby, like minute rice.

Craig [00:48:47]:
And so she’s pointing the gun at him and he’s like, fine. If you need to kill me, that’s fine. He’s like, I’m just a messenger. It’s just my job to see that his will is done. And so instead, out of nowhere, I guess she just makes the decision that whatever is going to happen, she must put a stop to it. So she puts the gun to her head and I think that he says no or something, but she pulls the trigger. I mean, gun to the head pulls the trigger?

Todd [00:49:14]:
Yeah. Should be dead.

Craig [00:49:17]:
Cut to black, come back in bright. And we’re focused on a television that is reporting on last night’s eclipse. And scientists are stumped because the ending of the eclipse, like once the eclipse had hit full eclipse, then the moon moving out of the shadow of the.

Todd [00:49:38]:
Earth faster than ever thought possible, right?

Craig [00:49:40]:
Faster than predicted or ever thought possible. Okay? And we find that we’re in a hospital. And the camera walks down the hallway and into a room where we see Samantha laid out on a hospital bed, her head completely wrapped in bandages, her face entirely bruised. And a nurse walks in and gives her an injection and pats her on the head and says, don’t worry, honey, you’re going to be all right. And then she pats her on the abdomen and says, both of you. And then she walks away and the frame freezes on Samantha laying in the bed and the credits start popping. You know, I liked that you didn’t get a view of the nurse. You just saw her uniform.

Craig [00:50:29]:
You never saw her face. I thought that was kind of ominous. I thought that it was ominous that maybe the suggestion is these people, these Satan worshippers are a network. So she’s not out of danger. I mean, she’s surely brain dead. I don’t know.

Todd [00:50:47]:
Gun to your head and pull the trigger.

Craig [00:50:50]:
Yeah. I mean, I know that it’s possible. I know that people have survived such things, but seems pretty unlikely. But that’s it. And that’s the end. And it’s bleak, which I think it should know. I just recently watched Shudder has this series called cursed films and they have a second season out now and one of them is Rosemary’s. Baby.

Craig [00:51:13]:
And so I was watching that and some of the mysterious things that happened surrounding that production, and it inspired me to go back and listen to our episode on Rosemary’s baby, and they’re so much alike, and we just absolutely gushed about Rosemary’s baby as well. We should have. But in listening to that, after watching this and then listening to that, I thought, you know what? Ty west really made a good tribute to these types of movies. Is it going to go down as a classic like Rosemary’s baby or the omen? No, I don’t think so. But as an homage, I think it’s really skillful. I think that he accomplished what he.

Todd [00:52:00]:
Set out to accomplish undeniably, stylistically. The visuals, the music, kind of the pacing, in a certain way, I think definitely a clear homage. But number one, he didn’t do anything new with it, which is fine. Nobody requires that some people choose to do that with their homages and kind of take things, shake it up a little bit. He didn’t. But also, you know, the tension is just different. I feel like he’s. Again, I was in the right mood for this movie, so that’s why I enjoyed it the second time around.

Todd [00:52:33]:
But I’ve still got to say, overall, just objectively speaking, the tension from Rosemary’s baby comes from things happening. It’s a quiet movie. Yes. It is a slow burn. Yes. But that’s because mysterious things are happening all the time, and you’re constantly questioning what’s going on, and you’re questioning, is this real? Is this kind of, like, are we making a lot to do about nothing? Is she going crazy? There’s a lot going on in your head while you’re watching the movie. So there is a build up of mysterious stuff. This doesn’t do that at all, really.

Todd [00:53:06]:
It’s a lot of just her just being around in a quiet, supposed to be spooky place, occasionally investigating a noise. And the two things that happen are not just, like, mysterious. Ooh, it’s like, woman gets shot in the head. It’s pretty bold. And then, oh, there’s a slaughtered family that’s been ritualistically sacrificed in the bedroom that she never sees. And those are the only two significant things that happen for the majority of the movie until the very last 8 minutes, where suddenly she’s in this peril and she immediately gets out of the peril. She does a pretty good job of defending herself, and then the movie’s over. That’s my criticism of it.

Todd [00:53:53]:
It’s aspiring to duplicate those movies, and probably does. Some of them were probably equally as slow. It has the stylistic look of Rosemary’s baby, but none of the tension and atmosphere that Rosemary’s baby was able to achieve through its really skillful plotting. Right.

Craig [00:54:10]:
I mean, it’s not as compelling a story. It’s just not. But overall, I think it’s a good movie.

Todd [00:54:19]:
It’s worth watching.

Craig [00:54:21]:
It’s well made, it’s well acted, really fun, kind of retro throwback, especially if you’re fans of those movies, which we are. I mean, you’ve even made me a fan of some of those jallos. Like, I don’t remember what was the one that we just watched recently about. The kids were like, going to prostitutes.

Todd [00:54:42]:
Or something so the preacher don’t torture duckling.

Craig [00:54:45]:
Yeah, it kind of had similar vibes to that and other movies like that. If you like those things, which I do, and I know you do, I think that you will enjoy this movie. But it’s not really a sit around and goof on it kind of movie. It’s more serious. Yeah, I don’t know. I recommend it. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it. I think it’s a good movie.

Craig [00:55:10]:
I don’t love it. I’m not going two people. What’s your favorite horror movie? Well, not this one, but I appreciate it for what it is.

Todd [00:55:19]:
Well, thank you again for listening to our episode. Thanks. Big thanks also to Freddie, Darren, Dave, and our patrons on Patreon for making this episode happen. If you would like to similarly influence the movies that we choose in the future, go over to chainsawpodcast and consider being a patron of this podcast. That’s one of the benefits you have. Along with several others, we’ve just released a minisode. We’ve got another minisode coming up that’s another benefit for our patrons, as well as some other little goodies, like a discussion board that you can access just to talk amongst yourselves and with me and Craig. And also an exclusive 90 minutes interview going a little bit deeper into our personal lives and some of the background behind the podcast that is chainsawpodcast.

Todd [00:56:02]:
You can also find us on our Facebook page and our website. Just Google two guys in a Chainsaw podcast or go two twoguys Leave us a comment in any one of those places. Let us know what movies you’d like to see coming up in the future and what you thought of this episode. So until next time, I’m Todd and I’m Craig with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.

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