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Ti West

Best movies: The House of the Devil (2009), The Innkeepers (2012), V/H/S (2012)

In damn near every interview he gives, writer/director Ti West has to contend with the “slow burn” questions, inquiries about his signature brand of deliberately measured pacing. Like a real trooper, he always answers them, but there’s often a hint of not-again annoyance.

We can’t blame him, either, because what folks should be concerning themselves with is the fact that West is one of the few modern-day horror filmmakers who truly has a style all his own. Films like the 1980s-set Satanic freak-out The House of the Devil and this year’s charming and shrewd ghost story/slacker comedy The Innkeepers are unmistakably Ti West productions.

And how so? For one, the first two acts of both movies firmly lay the pieces of meticulous dread, hinting at awaiting horrors without giving up the ghosts—pun intended—too soon; then, each flick culminates in an Act Three explosion of insanity. OK, so perhaps that whole “slow burn” thing is totally justified, after all.

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