Some of the American thrillers/horror films – tend to be remakes of another productions originally written and shot by filmmakers from other countries. You take “The Ring” series, “The Grudge” series, even “The Eye” and observe that despite the quality these productions possess – being a remake and not an original story drops its importance significantly. But looking at the bright side – we have the chance to see the same plot depicted in a different style, driven by a different vision.
It is also the case of Silent House, a remake of an Uruguayan horror film – “La Casa Muda” – in which Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) along with her father and uncle ends up at their lake house for cleaning duties. Nothing much til we are introduced to some unclear elements (mysterious characters) and the family gets attacked by some strangers.
Directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau – the film takes the form of a “single-take”, one continuous shot, with no visible editing.
Sarah and her father are attacked by someone who was hidden in the deserted house. We have few dialogues and lots of running-and-hiding from one corner to another – which increases the tension but makes the story fade away. Things get interesting only after one hour of the show – when we see that reality might not be the one we thought it to be.
If at the beginning we had just three characters – after 2/3 of the production, we see other characters – changing our perception upon the rise of the conflict.
Being a “single-shot” film, it helps exteriorizing some “invisible” sections of the composition. For example, when Sarah is looking for a place to hide, we are introduced to a few seconds of first-person criteria – we only see the flashlight illuminating the environment – and the spectator has the chance to become the protagonist. Also every action is linked with the following one, there are no “deja-vu’s” or memories applied to the plot. The action begins, continues and stops suddenly. The end of the movie is abruptly constructed and it lets us wonder what’s the next thing to come.
With only 5.3 ratting on iMDB I would recommend it for the acting of Elizabeth Olsen – she played her character well, very realistic – but also for the intentionally driven suspense that makes you stay silent and wait for the next shadow to drop and impress you.