Release Date: March 9, 2012
Director: Chris Kentis, Laura Lau
Stars: Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens
Runtime: 86 min
Tagline: Inspired by true events.
Yet another film sucked me in by the whole ‘inspired by true events’ pitch.
Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) and her father, John (Adam Trese), are renovating their family’s lakeside retreat for resale. Abruptly, Sarah is unable to find her father, and she finds herself trapped in her home. She soon realizes she cannot contact the outside world, as events become increasingly ominous in and around the house.
Silent House offers an okay ride, that has a mediocrely slow build-up that ultimately leads to an extremely moronic and unrewarding ending.
Apparently, this is based on true events that occurred in a small Uruguayan village in the 1940s, and the fact that this actually happened is admittedly a little twisted and eerie. Silent House is a remake of a 2010 Uruguay horror film called La Casa Muda (The Silent House), and the story was originally adapted by Gustavo Hernández. The fact that this film had to be directed by two people feels a little ridiculous to me, because I really don’t understand the purpose of doing that.
The build-up is pretty good, it’s sometimes a little slow – but it can also be pretty thrilling. There’s a fair share of good scenes mixed in here, but the bad ones outweigh those that are good. A big problem with this flick is that it thinks it’s much smarter than it actually is, and by the end of it, a lot of the material doesn’t make a lot of sense. Some of the happenings are extremely ominous, eerie, and mysterious, so that makes for a nice atmosphere for the viewer. Sometimes the film can be extremely ridiculous, because the happenings are just so abrupt and arbitrary that it made me think, “Whoa! Where the heck did that come from?”
There isn’t a whole lot of gore here, so it’s much more a psychological ride than anything else. It’s not a film I regret seeing because there a few redeeming qualities, but there isn’t anything extremely special. The whole convenience of the house not having power, AND the home being all boarded up, felt extremely clichéd and odd. The panicky performance given by Elizabeth Olsen is pretty fine. It’s not like her character’s a dumb bimbo or anything, because some of her decisions are pretty logical. It’s the decisions of some of the other characters that often feel quite illogical. The continuous take makes a fairly unique experience for a horror film (well, it was shot in ten-minute takes, which in turn makes the editing impressive), and the fact that it was shot in real time makes it unique, too. The cinematography is really rough; it reminded me of The Blair Witch Project, because the cameraman just follows the characters around, I’m convinced he (or she) had a wicked case of the shakes during shooting. The characters are decent for a horror film, but some of their actions don’t make the most sense.
The film stars Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens, Julia Taylor Ross, Adam Barnett, and Haley Murphy.
Silent House offers an okay psychological ride, an okay story, and a unique real time experience. The play-out can be a little slow, and the film has the ability to easily, and unintentionally, confuse its audience. I won’t return to this film, because the ending was extremely unrewarding. There are a lot of other psychological horror thrillers that can satisfy more than this, so you won’t miss a whole lot if you decide to skip it. It’s one of those movies that I could recommend if you found it on TV and there was nothing else on.