Viewed at the Prince Charles Cinema, London on Monday 30th April 2012
Elizabeth Olsen as Sarah
Adam Trese as John
Eric Sheffer Stevens as Peter
Julia Taylor Ross as Sophia
Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) helps her Dad and Uncle to renovate the family’s recently vandalised summer-house but after a forgotten friend visits, her Dad disappears only to turn up gravely injured and a mysterious strangers stalks Sarah around the ‘silent house’
Silent House is an ‘ordeal’ told in real-time (’24’ style) and shot to look like its done in one 88 minute long unbroken take (although the cheats are easy to spot) and, after seeing the trailer, I was really looking forward to seeing this. Unfortunately all the best bits of the film are in the trailer and what you’re left with is a very straight forward psychological horror by numbers.
It does reasonably well at building atmosphere but, beyond that, everything is so cliché and heavily signposted that there are no real scares or jumpy moments for anyone who’s ever seen a horror film before. This is like a gateway horror film. A Fisher Price ‘My First Horror Film’ that may only scare young teenage girls or very timid kittens. That the audience spent most of the film laughing really showed how badly this film misses the mark
There’s a twist (of course there’s a twist), but it’s heavily hinted at early in the film and due to the utterly, utterly atrocious performances of the actors portraying Sarah’s Father and Uncle, its done with such a complete lack of subtlety that it’s almost laughable
Elizabeth Olsen has the makings of a great actor. She was outstanding in Martha Marcy May Marlene and reports about Josh Radnor’s Liberal Arts are encouraging but here she has so little to work with (run, scream and hide on repeat for 70 minutes) she never gets the chance to shine.
Silent House is a remake of a 2010 Uruguayan film ‘La Casa Muda’ which a quick google of lead me to think wasn’t very good either. If you’re looking for cinematic chills you’d be far better off watching the infinitely superior Woman in Black
Silent House – (a probably very over-genourous) 5/10