Silent House (2011)

Directed by Chris Kentis [Other horror films: Open Water (2003)] & Laura Lau [Other horror films: N/A]

I will admit to being impressed by Silent House. I can understand the frustration that some people felt come the conclusion; I understand completely, but from a technical standout, Silent House was an impressive film even if elements of the ending weren’t.

What makes this impressive? It seems to be done all in a single continuous shot. I’m not a film-maker – I have no idea if it was actually done in a single shot. All I can say is that, from someone with no experience in film-making, it looks impressive, and I didn’t see any obvious cuts, so take that as you will.

Certainly such a technique can lead to some complications – with a camera-man following a character around the whole movie, doors are kept open longer than they really need to be (so the camera-man can walk through), and there are little things throughout, but I still found it really inspired how they did that, the ending notwithstanding.

For most of the film, we’re not really told much of what’s going on. It seems to be a generic ghost story, and small pieces of the story come together during the controversial conclusion. Why is the conclusion controversial and somewhat frustrating? For a similar reason (it’s not the exact same situation, but it’s not far off) that the ending of High Tension bothered some people, some potentially misleading narrative, and I get that.

As for me, when I figured out the story, I was pretty impressed, especially with the little clues we get throughout the film that come together to make sense at the end. And during the final scenes, once I saw where it was going, I wasn’t necessarily disappointed, but I was taken aback, because it seemed almost an unfair move, and this is probably partially what leads this decently innovative, small-budget movie to having only a 5.2/10 on IMDb at the time of this writing.

Elizabeth Olsen is a beautiful actress, which is a compliment that the movie-makers must have known, given that she wore a cute tank-top throughout the film and the audience got a lot, and I do mean a lot, of cleavage shots. No complaints from my end, I assure you. Her performance was good too, but those breasts – stereotypical chef kiss. Also, I just now realized she was the woman from a romantic comedy/drama called Liberal Arts, so that’s added fun.

Adam Trese and Eric Sheffer Stevens were both fine, though with the limitations of the movie, we never really got a whole lot of character from either one. It’s cool though, as I’d also take more cleavage shots over character development.

Overall, like I said at the beginning, this movie impressed me, and it impressed me more than it annoyed me, so it had that going for it. I didn’t hate the conclusion like some people did, but I understand why it’d bother some people. It’s not a matter of style over substance, either – though the story itself isn’t that great until the final 30 minutes or so, I think it makes for a fine haunted house film, if not a wee bit repetitive with a nervous woman being followed around trying to escape from a house.

On a side-note, this is a remake from a 2010 Uruguayan movie of the same name (well, the name is technically La casa muda, but in English, it’s Silent House), and I have seen that. I don’t remember too much about it, to be honest, and what little I do remember wasn’t exactly positive, so it’s possible that I find this a better film than the original, which can only be said about so many remakes. Whatever the case, I’ll revisit the thought once I see the 2010 movie again.

Silent House isn’t going to be for everyone. If someone’s not into found footage style of movie-making, this isn’t going to do wonders for them (this isn’t found footage, of course, but functionally, it doesn’t look too different), but I enjoyed the mystery of what was going on, and I enjoyed aspects of the conclusion, so kudos to this.


Author: Jiggy's Horror Corner

Fan of the horror genre, writer of mini-reviews, and lover of slashers.

One thought on “Silent House (2011)”

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