Silent House

"Good"

Silent House Review


A remake of the 2010 Uruguayan thriller, this is reportedly based on a true story. Shot as if it was filmed in a single continuous take, this claustrophobic horror film sends chills down our spines. But instead of deepening the story, the growing creepiness becomes an exercise in superficial horror: it's scary, but it's hard to care.

Sarah (Olsen) is working with her father John (Trese) and her uncle Peter (Stevens) to clean out a family-owned lake house that's been trashed by squatters. Sarah is clearly unnerved by the blacked-out windows, requiring the use of lanterns inside even during the daytime. Then she starts hearing loud noises upstairs. And when Peter is out getting supplies and her father is in the basement, she sees someone stalking her in the shadows. Soon she's running for her life. But even when she gets outside, she simply can't escape the house.

It's fairly clear early on that something metaphysical is going on here, so we begin to take what we're seeing with a grain of salt, waiting for some sort of twist or revelation. But this isn't the filmmakers' aim: they just want to freak out the audience, so they contrive scene after scene that jolts us out of our seats, mainly because of the clever close-up camerawork, which doesn't give our eyes any space to escape from Sarah's terrified face.

And indeed, Olsen creates a palpable sense of fear that's difficult to resist.

Even as we begin to understand why she's so frightened, the terror in her eyes is seriously horrific. And with the camera on her for the entire real-time fright-fest, we live every moment of her ordeal. The only relief comes through the offhanded naturalism of Trese and Stevens, while Ross (as Sarah's forgotten childhood friend) gets a few moments of camp eeriness.

It's fun to be so disoriented by a horror film that you start to feel that, like the main character, there might be something wrong with your ability to perceive what's actually going on. But while this approach to the narrative is inventive, the relentless rug-pulling will frustrate most moviegoers. If the script had provided a little more insight into the characters, the final act would have been much more wrenching.



Silent House

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th March 2012

Box Office USA: $12.6M

Box Office Worldwide: $13.1M

Budget: $2M

Distributed by: Open Road Films

Production compaines: Elle Driver, Tazora Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 41%
Fresh: 51 Rotten: 74

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Agnes Mentre

Starring: as Sarah, as John, Eric Sheffer Stevens as Peter, Julia Taylor Ross as Sophia, as Stalking Man, Haley Murphy as Little Girl

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.