Monday, March 12, 2012

Silent House - Movie Review

This is yet another movie that is supposedly inspired by true events although you never really know how much of it is based on anything at all. "Silent House" does employ a film making technique that is actually really cool compared to some of the other gimmicks out there and gives the viewer a different perspective on watching how the movie plays out.

Before getting in to that, lets go over the story. Sarah (played brilliantly by Elizabeth Olson), her father John (Adam Trese), and her uncle Peter (Eric Sheffer Stevens) are packing up and doing repairs on their lake house home in preparation of selling it off after repeated break-ins have made it a less than desirable place for them to own.

After someone enters the house, locking everyone inside, and attacking John, Sarah must find a way to escape before she is captured, or killed, or whatever this person's plans might be for them. The only way out is through a basement doorway as all of the windows have been boarded up and the keys to the main doors have been taken.

With only one option, Sarah looks to make her escape, but as the story progresses, we begin to see that what she is running from may be something entirely different than what she thinks she is seeing. As the story unfolds, a dark past involving the house and members of the family begins to reveal itself adding another layer of danger to a desperate and potentially deadly situation.

The first thing you might wonder about this stile is whether or not it can sustain a feature length film, I mean...all she has to do is get out of the house and she's home free. You might also think that whoever the attacker is shouldn't have much of a problem finding her as well. What ends up taking place is definitely not what I expected and I don't really mean that in a way that would improve my feelings on the movie.

The movie falls well short of being able to hold up on its promise of a thrilling scare fest and there really isn't much in the way of tension or any of those jump out of your seat moments that are the big payoffs for this type of film. As is often the case with the horror genre, everything is fairly predictable until the big twist in the third act that turns the whole story upside down, but also ends up confusing the audience more than anything else.

The one redeeming quality to this movie is the film making technique that I alluded to earlier which is how the entire movie was filmed as one, continuous camera shot with no breaks or cuts from the very beginning all the way to when the end credits roll. The 88 minutes of non stop story telling works to the advantage of the movie in some ways, but is also one of the main reasons why it ends up falling flat as the focus is on sustaining the shot rather than spending more effort on creating individual moments that are what makes or breaks this type of movie.

Earlier, I described Elizabeth Olson's performance in this movie as brilliant which may seem odd given how the movie itself really isn't very good, but she really pulls out all the stops in running her character through just about every emotion you can think of and to think she did all of this over one long shot is even more impressive.

I'd have to say "Silent House" is worth a look if you are interested in seeing a movie filmed in this manner, but not to the point where I'd say its something you really have to see. The story is bland at best with just a few interesting moments here and there, and the confusing finish just leaves you wondering what just happened.

1 comment :

  1. Definitely not as scary as it should be but still has a great technical aspect where we feel like we are actually there with Olsen as she runs throughout screaming all over the place.  It also helps that Olsen is very good in this role as well. Good review. Check out my review when you can.


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