Trip to a lake summer house turns into hell
Silent House (2012)
Duration: 85 minutes
Directed by: Chris Kentis, Laura Lau
Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens, Julia Taylor Ross, Adam Barnett, Haley Murphy
This remake of the Uruguayan film La Casa Muda has several things going for it.
First off, the editing makes the film seem as if it were all shot in one take, emulating Alfred Hitchcock from the time of Rope (1948). Secondly, Silent House is effective in the way it toys with its audience, leaving red herrings all over the place and making us believe one thing when the end result is totally different.
The film focuses on a young woman named Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) who is about to go through quite an ordeal. She is helping her father John (Adam Trese) and her uncle Peter (Eric Sheffer Stevens) clear out the lake summer house.
The building has long been forgotten and closed: It has no electricity and the windows are locked up so that no trespassers can enter the place.
This has been the first time in many a year that Sarah has made her way to this place.
One day a friend from her childhood years, Sophia (Julia Taylor Ross), comes visiting, but Sarah cannot remember her. She is to go out with Sophia but once back inside the summer house Sarah starts hearing strange noises.
Together with her father, they start looking for the source of these noises and other strange occurrences.
That is when John ends up hurt and Sarah is left in the house seemingly under siege by strangers.
Silent House is propelled forward by a masterful performance by Ms Olsen. She is the perfect vehicle to carry all the tension that is wound up in what is happening on screen.
The camera always seems to hover above her head and we get to follow her footsteps very carefully. The camera brings her emotions to the fore and we get to feel how this woman feels all alone and stranded.
The film is very well-crafted and is technically accomplished and has a strong sense of control.
Silent House is shrouded by a sense of mystery which creates a tangible sense of suspense.
Every sound, rustle, footstep, wheeze is amplified to the max, providing the audience with a very strong audiovisual experience. This is enhanced further by Nathan Larsen’s taut soundtrack.