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Director: Ti West Year: 2011 Country: USA Running time: 102 mins Censor Rating: M - content may disturb Genres & Subjects: Horror, Suspense

Screenplay: Ti West Editor: Ti West Producers: Peter Phok, Derek Curl, Larry Fessenden, Ti West Photography: Eliot Rockett Production designer: Jade Healy Costume designer: Elisabeth Vastola Music: Jeff Grace HDCAM With: Sara Paxton (Claire), Pat Healy (Luke), Kelly McGillis (Leanne Rease-Jones), George Riddle (old man), Alison Bartlett (Gayle, the angry mom), Jake Schlueter (young boy), Lena Dunham (barista) Festivals: SXSW 2011

The House of the Devil was director Ti West’s note-perfect homage to the great horror films of the 80s. Inspired by the creepy inn he and his crew stayed in, West returned and shot this, his latest horror film to eschew contemporary visceral thrills in favour of slow-burning dread. A soon-to-be-shut-down inn has a staff of two slacker 20-somethings who share a love of the paranormal – exceedingly cute tomboy Claire and sarcastic hipster Luke. With nearly all the rooms vacant, Claire and Luke spend most of their time scouring the notoriously creepy inn for any signs of supernatural activity. When an ageing actress-cum-spiritualist turns up, the film ramps up into familiar spooky territory. Refreshingly free of referential nods to modern horror, this beautifully observed character piece harks back to the charms of the 50s B-horrors, and only in its last act does it really start to freak you out. — AT