review by AARON ALLEN
Directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau
Written by Laura Lau (screenplay)
Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens, and Julia Taylor Ross
There's something primal about the fear we experience when we're alone in the dark but can sense something stalking us just out of sight.
In this respect, directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau manage to wring some dread out of Silent House -- an independently produced terror tale that unfolds inside a spooky, dilapidated house in one uninterrupted take -- but the film simply cannot surmount the fact that it is predicated on a recycled gimmick and is about as tepid as American horror remakes come these days.
|How often do you think Olsen is mistakenly asked to recite, "You got it, dude"?|
Silent House is a remake of the Uruguayan film La Casa Muda which was also filmed in one take -- shot in real time without any cuts, or so the filmmakers claim -- yet the American version's attempt to ape this single-shot aesthetic is only an illusion of editing according to the the director and cast, who have since come forward to contradict the film's own marketing. Nevertheless, what matters is whether Silent House is scary and whether it's "uninterrupted take" presentation adds anything to the film. To both these questions, this reviewer can only shake his head in disappointment.
|The Silent House present: horror by lamplight|
|Cut. It. Out.|
Despite some brilliant flashes of truly disturbing nightmare imagery and one or two scenes of domestic terror, Silent House certainly didn't elicit much noise from this reviewer be they screams or laughs.