It’s only a short review because frankly the film deserves little more…….
Silent House is like two separate films; at least in style anyways. I watched it mainly for Elizabeth Olsen who after seeing Martha Marcy May Marlene has well and truly stuck on my radar. And she’s incredible again in Silent House. However I can’t say the same for the film.
What starts out as an intriguing, slow burning, tense and suspenseful film ends up a disjointed, confusing disappointment. I loved the first half. It develops an unpleasant atmosphere, shot in one single take making it almost unbearable to watch when you know there’s no chance of a cut-a-way. The camera stays with Sarah (Olsen). And in truth I watched most of it from behind my fingers. But the twist that comes later brings with it the end of its realistic build up and feeling of unease, instead drifting into a confusing sci-fi that barely makes sense and lacks continuity. The film would have worked far better had it committed to one of its two very different narrative avenues and style, instead it felt like directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau thought “ah there’s not enough going on, it’s almost too simple so let’s throw a pointless twist in at the end to spice it up. Oh and lets not explain why, how, or who certain characters are”. And there you have it, Silent House. It has only two good things going for it, Elizabeth Olsen and that it’s filmed in one take which worked so well for creating its eerie and unpleasantness. Aside from those things it’s a wasted opportunity that I expected a lot more from. The first half of the film is exactly what I expected and although not perfect would have been better had it ended in the middle. And probably had it finished there, I wouldn’t be asking so many questions because what happens after that point leaves too much unexplained.
I’d been looking forward to Silent House for months, thinking it had the potential to fill my horror film needs after watching possibly the worst horror I’ve ever seen The Devil Inside and wasting over an hour of my life. But alas I have been failed and must go in search of something else. Piranha 3DD perhaps!