3. June 2012 09:21
WOW. My jaw is still dropped. I wouldn't necessarily classify this movie scary, as it takes quite a bit these days to give me a fright, but “Crushed” came pretty damn close. Imagine “Fatal Attraction” mixed with “May” and “Hostel” if you can. There is nothing original about the story itself. Clint Eastwood made his directorial debut in 1971 with “Play Misty For Me”, which is really where “Crushed” gets its roots. There are only so many ways you can tell the same story without diluting its impact, but “Crushed” managed to take things a step further than any of its predecessors. Its originality comes solely from the brutality of the film. Patrick Johnson managed to immortalize most men's worst nightmare on film in a very real and brutal way (well, “Teeth” might actually take the cake on that one, but I digress....).
Natalie Dickinson takes the role of psychotic female to a whole new level. I am so disappointed that I am just now hearing about about the promotional campaign on YouTube leading up to the films release. For three years Natalie posted videos as Tara showing her slowly start sinking into insanity. Fantastic concept and unbelievable marketing tool taking a remarkable amount of dedication on her part. I must say I found the rest of the cast to be pretty weak with the exception of Ray's friend at work(who's name I can't recall and IMDB isn't telling me). That dude cracked me up.
Overall, “Crushed”, aka "She's Crushed" proves that a good horror movie can still be made for $200 and five cases of beer. The gore and effects aren't great and the acting is nothing special, but “Crushed” is a definite must see. I give it a 7/10 for its shock value alone.
3. June 2010 09:34
I really enjoyed everything about “The House of the Devil”. Ti West did a wonderful job of resurrecting what was, in my opinion, the golden age of horror films. The grainy film texture and overall ambiance create the illusion that the movie dates back to somewhere between “The Amityville Horror”(1979) and “The Changeling”(1982). It actually feels more like an 80's movie than most 80's movies in which you typically see overly exaggerated representations of how people really were during the time period. The dialogue, music, hairstyles and clothing(to name a few) were extremely representational and it would be quite easy to pass this film off as being 30 years old if one didn't know any better. Jocelin Donahue did a phenomenal job of pretty much carrying the movie all by herself, much as Carol Kane did in “When a Stranger Calls”.
The story itself really isn't anything remarkable. A college student takes a job babysitting on the night of a full lunar eclipse only to find out that it was a trap by satanists to use her in some sort of bizarre ritual. The audience knows this going in to the movie and the plot never develops any further than that. The genius comes in to play in how everything is delivered. The sheer nativity of our lead character combined with the slow, tension building pace of the film will leave you on the edge of your seat. There are a couple scenes that will make you jump, but overall the scare comes from knowing what our female lead does not and waiting for the outcome that we all know is coming.
I have read a lot of mixed reviews on this one. In my experience, there are two types of horror fans.; those born before 1985 and those born after. I don't feel the younger crowd will truly appreciate this movie for the gem that it is, but if you are a seasoned vet such as myself, I think you will find “The House of the Devil” to be an incredible throwback to the days when horror was truly great, and actually scary. It is a definite must-see and I give it an 8/10 for being one of the few movies in recent years that can compete with the classics I grew up with.