Crazy To See: SILENT HOUSE
Synopsis: Summary: Sarah is a young woman who finds herself sealed inside her family’s secluded lake house. With no contact to the outside world, and no way out, panic turns to terror as events become increasingly ominous in and around the house. (Open Road Films)
CRITICS CONSENSUS: CRAZY TO SEE
My attention was held for the first act or so. Then any attempt at realism was abandoned, and it became clear that the house, and the movie containing it, were devices to manufacture methodical thrills. The explanation, if that’s what it was, seemed contrived and unconvincing.
The bad news is that Silent House is 88 minutes long, and the final half hour represents a descent into an anticlimax that ends with a scene as dumb as it is disappointing.
“Paranormal Activity” has been here before, of course, but Silent House springs tangy new tricks, and Olsen is a primo scream queen.
Silent House feels relentless, suffocatingly tense and almost unbearable. And that’s a very good thing.
A denouement more textbook than thrilling stalls some of the movie’s power. But the early chills are potent, intense.
Its most remarkable featis sustaining the level of forebodeingly atmospheric suspense.
This is acting that seems more freaked out, more traumatized than it ought to for a movie about an unwanted houseguest.
Silent House is a bundle of horror-flick tropes yoked together like a package deal.
A creaky haunted house that, once the big twist is revealed, makes very little sense at all.
There’s probably a graduate thesis to be drawn from this, about what audiences want from horror films, and ways to make viewers uncomfortable with their own voyeuristic desires, but that doesn’t make the thrills any less sour, or the end any less exploitative. (Or worse, dull.)
It will make you jump, to be sure, and your heart to beat a little bit faster. But what’s truly scariest about it takes place not in the body, but in the mind.
The tricky camera moves that fill up Silent House make for one-half of a nerveracking horror film – before the movie’s obviousness just gets on your nerves.
Even this terrifically talented performer can’t sell a Shyama-lana-ding-dong of a third-act twist that will make more eyes than heads roll.
This is good-for-you, arthouse-style horror. Which doesn’t mean it’s necessarily any good.
Silent House does superficially spiff up the haunted-house movie, but it’s not built to last.
The long take pulls you into the realism of the moment, heightening any sense of unease already established by the story. In Silent House, directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau (“Open Water”) exploit the hell out of that uneasiness and keep pushing its limits.
The film’s most interesting aspects are its gimmicks rather than its frights.
Even in a predictable horror film like Silent House, Olsen draws empathy like a magnet.
Pulling off the thespian equivalent of running a marathon, the hyperventilating Olsen works awfully hard in the service of a film that, in the end, does little or nothing to preserve her character’s integrity.
Silent House dies a sudden and egregious death when the amateur players in Olsen’s company, Adam Trese and Eric Sheffer Stevens, as her character Sarah’s father and uncle, respectively, open their traps.
The film is at its best as a fast-paced enigma. When Kentis and Lau start explaining what’s actually going on, Silent House takes a turn not just for the worse but the ludicrous.
Reviewed by: Jason Bailey
As it stands, the picture’s primary subject is its style; the promotional materials give as much space to the trickery (“a tension-filled, real time journey, experienced in a single uninterrupted shot”) as they do to rising leading lady Olsen.
Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
Once the twist becomes apparent, the film stops being scary and you stop caring about Sarah, despite Olsen’s graceful performance. It’s a shame. If the film stayed on track, it might have been come close to being a classic. As it is now, it’s a huge missed opportunity.
Reviewed by: Kate Erbland
Silent House is undeniably built on its “one-shot, real-time” gimmick. And while it works reasonably well – especially in the first half of the film – it’s still just a gimmick trying to gussy up a common horror flick.
Source : MetaCritic.com
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Editor in chief at www.crazymoviepeople.com . . . Probably need to work on getting a life.