Silent House (US) - Review
Review by Rob Carnevale
THIS latest horror remake to emerge from the US offers the same hook as its Uruguayan predecessor as well as the same problems.
Shot using one continuous take (a la Hitchcock’s Rope) so as to offer viewers a real-time experience the film follows a young woman named Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) as she helps her father (Adam Trese) and uncle (Eric Sheffer Stevens) clear out a summer house ready for it to be sold.
But it isn’t long before Sarah becomes convinced that she is being stalked by someone or something that could have a supernatural element.
Rather like Gustavo Hernández’s original (known as La Casa Muda), this version of Silent House works better the less you know about it and co-directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau (of Open Water fame) certainly pull off the one-shot challenge competently.
Early on, the film maintains the tension well and succeeds in generating a mounting sense of unease.
Olsen, too, builds on the great work she did in Martha Marcy May Marlene, coming off genuinely terrified throughout in what must have been another exacting role to play.
But ultimately the film cannot sustain it’s early momentum and the final reveal underwhelms and struggles to stand up to scrutiny in much the same way as its predecessor… only this time the sense of frustration is heightened.
So, while the film again succeeds on a technical and performance level it fails to pay due care and attention to the storytelling element, which had a lot of room for improvement. By merely being content to copy, this version of Silent House comes off worse.
It is, eventually, another remake to be labelled under inferior and therefore pointless.
Running time: 95mins
UK Release Date: May 4, 2012