Silent House (2011) starring Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens, Julia Taylor Ross, Adam Barnett, Haley Murphy directed by Chris Kentis, Laura Lau Movie Review

Silent House (2011)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Elizabeth Olsen in Silent House (2011)

Casa con Creepy

Having decided to sell their summer house by the lake Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen), her father John (Adam Trese - 40 Days and 40 Nights) and her uncle Peter (Eric Sheffer Stevens) are there doing it up as a few years of abandonment has left it in need of some work. But while her uncle pops in to town to pick up some supplies strange things start to happen as Sarah hears noises then her father disappears and she gets freaked when she sees another man in the house.

So close but yet so far is how I fell about "Silent House" a remake of Uruguayan horror movie "La Casa Muda" because for the first half it delivers atmosphere, naturalness and builds to some classic moments of horror. But then it just goes wrong in trying to build on that horror till sadly "Silent House" ends up being both annoying and disappointing.

Now the first thing I have to bring up is the camera work because like with Hitchcock's "Rope" this has been filmed and edited in such a way that it appears as if it was done in one long take. It is an idea which sort of works as whilst it gives the movie that feeling of playing out in real time the need to use a hand held camera means we get shaky camera work and that for long periods of time is a pet hate of mine. Fortunately there are some scenes where the camera rests down and they are welcome rest bites.

Now at the centre of this movie is Sarah with the camera basically following her around for the entire movie and that puts a lot of weight on Elizabeth Olsen's performance. The good news is that Olsen is the best thing about the entire movie as she plays Sarah as a real person taking us from early on being sweet and nice to then afraid and panicky. Yes what her character does as in walking around a scary building in the dark is not what any normal person does but Olsen acts out each scene to make it feel believable.

But as I said "Silent House" comes close but ends up so far and it is sadly the need to build up the amount of horror till it goes beyond the point of being reasonably realistic to ridiculous. It is just too much as whilst we get some brilliant classic horror elements including a great scene early on where we see the ominous figure of a man standing at the end of a corridor much of the horror in the second half feels forced.

What this all boils down to is that "Silent House" was for the first half a lot better than I expecting with a lot of great atmosphere and Elizabeth Olsen impressing with her naturalness. But unfortunately the second half of "Silent House" let it down big time as realism paved the way for ridiculousness.