Film Review: Silent House

Silent House boasts some excellent moments of tension. Nevertheless, the film falls into the same trap as so many other horrors by having a weak and incredulous final act.

Sarah is keeping her dad and her uncle company as they fix up their old holiday home. Having not been at the property since she was a young girl, Sarah has few memories of her time there. When she becomes trapped inside the house, Sarah worries there is another presence with her…

A remake of Uruguayan La Casa Muda, Silent House shares many of the same tropes with other haunted house films. Silent House features the regular set up of normality becoming quickly subverted and descending into a nightmarish situation. The film also elevates the level of threat in a way that will be familiar to most viewers.

Chris Kentis and Laura Lau’s film leaves little real mystery, despite the necessity of this to sustain the story. The narrative is lacking unfortunately. Indicators of what is to come appear early on in Silent House. These are like clangers, rather than sly hints however. A bit more ambivalence and a more coherent plot would have worked wonders, as tension is effective throughout the film.

Silent House is filmed in one continuous take. This appears partially to have been done for gimmick effect. On the one hand, the filmmakers should be applauded for generating some very tense moments despite the limitations of this filming style. Nevertheless, other aspects of the film, particularly in the final third, would have benefited from editing to make the composition look more polished and less haphazard. The location is perfect for the film, and lighting works well to generate atmosphere.

Elizabeth Olsen delivers a strong performance that really carries the film. Silent House would not have worked at all without Olsen. Elsewhere the film features some interesting casting, but perhaps it is the characters rather than the actors that are less believable.

Silent House is ultimately disappointing. It is only partially successful as a horror film.

Trailer Round-Up

This week’s pick of trailers include horror movie Silent House, the George Lucas-produced Red Tails and Seth MacFarlane’s Ted.


Savages combines a number of enticing elements. Directed by Oliver Stone, the film is based on Don Winslow’s best-selling crime novel. Savages boasts a stellar ensemble cast that includes Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Blake Lively and Taylor Kitsch, who has very much been on the radar in 2012. The action thriller is due for release on 28th September 2012, in the UK.

Red Tails

Red Tails is based on the true story of World War II’s first African American fighter squadron. The first thing that struck me about the publicity for the film was the hot 80s-esque type font. Produced by George Lucas, Red Tails is directed by Anthony Hemingway (who has a solid career in television, including The Wire). Red Tails is released on 6th June 2012.


Just like the trailer suggests, as a child I always wanted my teddies to come alive. Actually, as an adult, I still wish for this. Ted is a new comedy from Family Guy-creator Seth MacFarlane. Written, directed and voiced by MacFarlane, the film is sure to offer the same brand of close-to-the-bone humour. Ted, which stars Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, is released on 3rd August 2012.

Silent House

Silent House is a horror film that takes place in real time and in one continuous take. I recently watched Rope again, which truly mastered the long take in the late 1940s. It will be interesting to see how Silent House compares. The film is a remake of Uruguayan film La Casa Muda. Silent House, which stars Elizabeth Olsen, opens on 4th May 2012 in the UK.