Silent House is a remake of a Uruguayan horror film, La Casa Muda. Starring the younger sister of the infamous twins, Elizabeth Olsen, Silent House is unique in its approach: it is shot in a single take. No editing, no multiple takes. Once the camera starts, audiences are invited to “experience 88 minutes of real fear in real time.”
This technique works surprisingly well, bringing with it all the benefits of the “found footage” genre without any of its contrivances. The audience feels intimately connected with the movie’s central character, Olsen’s Sarah, yet a far-fetched explanation of the ubiquitous camera is avoided.
The scares are both horror-cliche and quite original, in equal doses. And good luck ever using a Polaroid camera again after you see Sarah use the old-school device as an impromptu flashlight.
The movie disitigrates a bit toward the climax, but viewers are hardly given enough time to think it through before the credits begin rolling. And while a cleverer film might have kept you thinking and connecting the dots well after the house lights come up, Silent House leaves you quickly realizing that any such mental endeavour would leave the movie no better off.
All in all, an excellent take on the genre and definitely worth a look – just don’t think too hard about it. Read the full review here.