Women in Horror Month: Jocelin Donahue (The House of the Devil)

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One of my favorite women in horror is not from an 80’s film, but one that just happens to be set during that time. I’m talking about Jocelin Donahue, who played Samantha in Ti West’s House of the Devil. Samantha is a character that seems very genuine and really makes you root for her in the film. The character is struggling with money problems, as many of us can relate to. There are several red flags about the babysitting job that would ordinarily make most people decide against it, but Samantha’s desperation to improve her living situation makes her decision to take the job much more believable (to her best friend’s dismay).

The majority of the film’s scenes feature Samantha alone in the house. You can feel her curiosity as she explores the rooms, and also her ever rising uneasiness as she begins to realize that something isn’t quite right. Donahue plays the character well, and is able to carry the movie on her shoulders without losing the audience. By the end, you really get invested with her character, which makes the climax even more intense. You want Samantha to overcome the evil forces out to get her and just hope she makes it out alive. The House of the Devil is one of my favorite horror movies, and a good part of that is because of Jocelin Donahue’s performance.

-Miles Wilson

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