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Single shot real time take is what this horror/thriller brags about, but sshhh.. if you stay silent, just like the title, you may notice that the big reveal at the end isn’t as unpredictable as it wants you to think it. By the way, make sure you watch your step because you’ll get to walk all over the house from room to room, with Elizabeth Olsen. I know.. lamest tour of the house ever!
SILENT HOUSE has the potential to become an instant classic but the film unfortunately is not quite as strong and convincing as Olsen’s performance..
SILENT HOUSE is a uniquely unsettling horror thriller starring Elizabeth Olsen as Sarah, a young woman who finds herself sealed inside her family’s secluded lake house. With no contact to the outside world, and no way out, panic turns to terror as events become increasingly ominous in and around the house. Directed by filmmaking duo Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, SILENT HOUSE uses meticulous camera choreography to take the audience on a tension-filled, real time journey, experienced in a single uninterrupted shot.
Director Chris Kentis and co-producer Laura Lau previously brought us Open Water. Remember that one? A scary survival story of scuba divers stranded out in shark-infested sea. Many audiences found it boring and annoying, I was one of those who thought it rocked, it put a cool spin on the whole type of setting a story in just one location the entire film.
The marketing of SILENT HOUSE makes the film look like it’s your typical haunted house thriller, but there’s more to the picture than meets the eye.
I’m still iffy about this whole unbroken continuous shot, they make it sound like it’s groundbreaking and the greatest thing ever, but I attended the press day and both Kentis and Lau told us press members that it wasn’t exactly done like that, at least not how the audiences perceive it. But let’s put that aside shall we, SILENT HOUSE’s biggest weakness is that it doesn’t give enough set up.
You have a girl named Sara, her dad, they just moved into this house and her uncle’s helping her out with the process and the rest of the film is just Sara (Elizabeth Olsen) screaming and crying and screaming some more as she frantically runs and desperately tries to find her way in that dark ghastly house, from one room to another, that’s basically it. You start figuring things out halfway through, the film is like a poker player who doesn’t realize that his cards are exposed.
I’m not going to spoil you the twist but just know that the movie does have its frightening moments, just know that Olsen does a great job, I think that girl is a force to be reckoned with, just know that the movie does make you feel like something unthinkable is just waiting around the corner, that a big reveal is going to be shocking beyond belief, but instead, what you get is something that reminds you of Nicole Kidman’s The Others or movies like it that would have you wonder which one is the victim and which one is the perp.
To be frank, I’d rather have SILENT HOUSE be about haunted house as opposed to the alternative.
GRADE: 3 out of 5
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