Last night my girlfriend and I watched this movie called ‘The house of the Devil‘. Now let me start off by saying that most of the reviews that were given to this movie are unfair. Most people rated this movie in Netflix as being “too long and drawn out..” “Not a lot of action” “..Scary for a 7 year old..”
You see this is what’s wrong with modern moviegoers. They expect the cheap thrills that resonate throughout most modern horror movies. Like “The Ring” “Shutter” “Exorcism of Emily Rose”…blah blah…
Most modern movies fall back on the primitive yet effective use of loud sounds to scare people. What made “The Exorcist” so great? The fact that the psychological build up was so extreme. From the media, to reviews to the film’s long and drawn out prelude to the exorcism.
‘The house of the Devil’ was a bit drawn out, but for a good reason. It was building up the tension. I have to admit that it was an OK movie, it wasn’t half bad. The director’s (Ti West) vision was that of a 1970s “Satanic cult film”. I think he pulled it off just right. Although some of the execution of the scenes could have been done better, it still worked. Especially the rolling credits in the beginning and the end. It helps the viewers fall back into those “creepy 70s” horror films feel. The movie will not scare you senseless, but it does chill your bones and remind you of the craziness that exists out there. It’s well worth renting.
As a child, I was scared senseless by the media frenzy of cult murders and Satanic cults being a threat. The media played well into the minds of most Americans in the 70s and 80s the fear of Satanism and the rise of its power. Although there was no real danger or data to back these claims up.
The serial killer Richard Ramirez (a.k.a The Night Stalker) was a big player in shaping these fears that gripped the public.
In the mid 80s, Ramirez stalked and terrorized Southern California for almost a year. Starting from June 28, 1984 up until his capture on August 24, 1985. Richard Ramirez would have a big impact in my life.
Shaping my views of Satanism and human vulnerability, his senseless killings brought unto me dark and gruesome thoughts about life; in essence a negative existentialist viewpoint. While Ramirez stalked the surrounding cities in which I lived in, I could not help but become somewhat obsessed with his capture. Although I was 6 years of age at the time, I kept up with the news report on Ramirez. Each time hoping to hear that he was captured. A lot of paranoid filled nights.
There’s a rumor in my family that one of Richard Ramirez’s first victim was my uncle. My uncle had died in 1983 or 1984 from what I can remember. He was 17. Now, this is all based on hearsay, but the rumor is that Richard Ramirez hung out with a bunch of dropouts that lived across the street from my aunt’s house in the city of Pico Rivera east Los Angeles. These people used to be known as devil worshipers throughout the neighborhood and Ramirez was thought to hang out from time to time with them. He was also known to break into garages throughout the neighborhood and used them as temporary shelters. My aunt’s garage being one of them.
As it turns out, my uncle’s body was discovered in the garage one day. The police ruled this off as a suicide by hanging. My cousin (who found him) says otherwise. She told us that his hands were tied behind his back when she saw him. Now I don’t really know how true this is, but if she is correct, then this could be evidence that Ramirez killed more than his 13 alleged murder victims.
I’ve often thought about driving to the east L.A. police department and requesting the records for the crime scene, but almost always something holds me back. Maybe one day.
Ramirez on Biography