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Silent House

In theaters March 9, 2012

86 minutes

Silent House earns my first “WTF” film of 2012 award. No other film so far this year has left me walking out of the experience completely disappointmented.
Just to give a tiny bit of background, Silent House is the English version of the Uruguayan film of the same name, La Casa Muda. What separates the film from other horror flicks? The film’s entire 85 minutes appear to be shot in one long take, also a gimmick from the original title. While this style of filmmaking is an impressive and ambitious undertaking, the film’s plot and story-telling completely abuse the sum of its parts.
All the typical horror-film victim mistakes are played out in Silent House, from hiding under the kitchen table to locking ones self into the house. However, these mistakes still prove effective in completely stressing out the audience, raising that heart rate ever so slightly as the movie progresses. That is until the second act and our film is forced into bringing everything to a close and must reveal the truth behind the incident. This is where everything goes terribly wrong for Silent House, so bad that the filmmakers felt it necessary to add in a bleeding toilet for dramatic effect. Yes, in a film billed as a “squatter” creep show, the film manages to work in a bleeding toilet, beer bottle bath, and a “…it’s just a game we play” flashback. That increased heart rate and audience stress is wasted, replaced with confusion and complete frustration.
So what about the story-telling? While impressive and ambitious, the one-take technique does not assist the audience in caring for Sarah’s (Elizabeth Olsen) plight, especially in the second act as the truth to her past is revealed. Had the entire plot mirrored what the film’s first act (and movie trailer) leads the audience to believe, this film could have been groundbreaking horror. Instead, we have another undisciplined entry in a genre ripe with commercial flop.

Silent House is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Chris Giroux
Chris Giroux is founder and editor-in-charge at Movie Reelist, an entertainment news and review blog serving the most fanatic moviegoers. Chris started his publication in Detroit in 2010 and has since reviewed hundreds of films and interviewed numerous talent across the country. He is an avid film festival attendee and red carpet photographer, having shot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Mark Hamill, and more. Chris grew up in New Mexico, where he studied mass media writing while working in post-production and multimedia authoring. It is also where he discovered Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, resulting in an unhealthy Kurt Russell obsession.

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