Ti West Discusses His New Film The House of the Devil
10.31.09 by BJSprecher
At a time when many filmmakers are using their inflated budgets to cram movies with CGI or 3-D effects to make their movies slick and stylish, director Ti West has taken the opposite route and gone old school. His latest feature, The House of the Devil, not only takes place in the 1980s, but it has the look and feel of a picture made in the '80s. In a recent interview with Cinematical, West said that the subject matter of The House of Devil helped to inform his decision to make a modern "vintage" horror flick.
Well, the idea to do a satanic movie, it only made sense to set it in the 1980s, when there was the height of the "satanic panic" cultural phenomenon in the United States. I was always obsessed with that. I was obsessed with the fact that my mom would be like, "You can't go out by yourself down to the park because someone will come by in a van with no windows and kidnap you and sacrifice you to the devil." What a weird thing for everyone to be obsessed with!
So, when I set it in the '80s, a lot of people call it a homage or a throwback and I don't really see it that way. I'm not so ignorant to say there [aren't] a few nods in the movie, but [I] really just wanted to make an authentic period piece; if the movie had taken place in the '50s, I'd have made it as authentically '50s as possible. I'm sort of obsessive compulsive with detail, so I tried to be as accurate and as realistic [as possible] because so much of the movie is about realism, and it's played out like a realistic movie about a girl babysitting.
Some early reviews have been critical of the movie's pacing, saying that it was a little boring, but West says that he won't allow himself to be pressured by studios or anyone else when it comes to his creative vision.
…if someone were to say to me, "People are going to hate the movie, we've got to change it," it's like, no, f--- them. Because if we change it then the people who loved the movie will hate it. You can't win, and it's all subjective.
The studios, the people in charge are idiots – most of the time. Not all of the time. But a lot of the time it's like frat dudes that got a job; they're in control of the kind of movies that you want, and you wonder why there's not better movies. Well, you've got to demand it, and you've got to support the good stuff and not support the bad stuff.