Posted March 15, 2012 by Jack Jones in Films

Silent House

Even if Silent House

Even if Silent House is a no good horror movie,
Elizabeth Olsen prevents it from being a real stinker.
So much so, that Silent House is worth seeing just
for her. In only her second feature after an outstanding debut in Martha Marcy May Marlene, the hype
surrounding her is certainly not unfounded. Silent House may be a stinker but
Olsen makes it worth the ordeal.

In a similar manner to her role from Martha, there is something fractured about
her character Sarah and Olsen brilliantly exudes an unnerving uneasiness about
her. As Sarah and her father and uncle patch up their family home to be sold
off, like a loud bump in the night – yes, in case you were wondering this house
isn’t all that silent – Sarah is suddenly under attack from an unknown entity.
Is it all in her head? Is this really happening? In all honesty if you don’t
see the ‘twist’ coming you’re just not trying hard enough.

To give the filmmaking some credit, the use of a ‘real time’ style is initially
impressive with one long flowing take of dialogue in and out various rooms. It
may not be the opening to The West Wing
but it’s impressive if you don’t know it’s coming. As the film progresses
however the filmmakers have to find more contrived and frankly obvious ways of
cutting the film. Even though Hitchcock‘s
Rope was meant to feel like a film
made all in one take, his own contrived way of cutting – zooming in on various
character’s backs – had a certain charm. Silent House on the other hand makes
you question why they bothered at all.

As a remake of the Uruguayan film La
Casa Muda
, Chris Kentis and Laura Lau (those of Open Water fame) have simply extracted
the one-shot style for their own purpose. Though Kentis and Lau are clearly
interested in what this technique can offer, the film however ultimately feels
little more than a gimmick, as the story is one we’ve seen many times before.
Leaving little terror in the mind as you leave the theatre, Silent House is in
the end just a movie with a lot of loud noises than a film to make a noise

Jack Jones