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Silent House

A movie directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau

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Too Silent

  • Jul 14, 2012


Written by Laura Lau

Directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau

Starring Elizabeth Olsen


Imagine being trapped in a secluded lake house with an intruder and little way to defend yourself. There is no electricity, no phone service and you have no idea where the key to the front door is. Imagine how tense every single minute of that experience would be and you have SILENT HOUSE, a thriller from Chris Kentis (OPEN WATER) and Laura Lau (directorial debut), and remake of the 2010 Uraguayan film of the same name. Well, theoretically you would have the premise of this movie because it is shot to make it look like one continuous shot from start to finish, much like Alfred Hitchcock's ROPE. The effect is supposed to make you feel like you’re there, trapped in that house too. Sadly, the end result is a bit more tedious than terrifying.


Most of the action centers around Sarah, played by the wide-eyed wonder, Elizabeth Olsen (MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE). Sarah is spending some time up at the family lake house, prepping it to be sold, with the help of her father and uncle (Adam Trese and Eric Scheffer Stevens, respectively). After her uncle has stepped out to go to the store, Sarah begins hearing noises in the house. She tells her father and he falls down the stairs as he investigates the situation. From there on in, it is her mission to get out of that house but as her ordeal progresses, it becomes clear that there is more to this situation than just a mere home invasion. What is in fact happening is actually pretty  fascinating from a psychological standpoint, but unfortunately, the original terror loses its nerve before the real world scares come to light.


Running something in real time, while executed well from a technical standpoint in SILENT HOUSE, can be problematic because of all the time in between actual action. Yes, this is a frightening experience but much of that amounts to Olsen looking petrified as she goes from room to room to find a way out of her personal hell. She proves once again that she has a face that can reveal both unexpected and unnerving layers of emotional depth. Her strength elevates the film to a watchable level but not much further than that. Olsen will shine much brighter some other time, in a film with much better lighting too.

Thanks for reading.

LUNCH rating is out of 10.

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July 21, 2012
I gave this some props since Olsen did a good job carrying most of the movie's burden. But I hardly remember anything else about it since I saw it last March. Didn't make an impression on me I guess. Nice one. 6/10 ain't so bad.
More Silent House reviews
review by . March 11, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
If These Walls Could Jog Your Memory...
Horror movie remakes are a dime-a-dozen indeed and this is made more fact with 2012’s “Silent House” (it was released at Sundance in 2011). This film is a remake of the Spanish horror movie “The Silent House” (La Casa Muda) directed by Gustavo Hernandez. The original was a low budget exercise that made do with whatever it had. Directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau who made their mark with the sleeper hit “Open Water“. The film has been dubbed the ‘exercise’ …
review by . October 07, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**1/2 out of ****    I have rather vague memories of Gustavo Hernandez's disappointing "La Casa Muda" (literal English translation: "The Silent House"). What I do remember is that it was supposedly shot all in a single take (and boy, did it look as if it was) and that there were some genuinely creepy moments. I also remember it being disappointing and overall kind of stupid; getting progressively more absurd as it went along until an insanely silly final twist sealed the deal …
review by . March 10, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         For the first hour or so if it’s highly publicized eighty-eight minutes, Silent House had me hook, line, and sinker. But then I reached the climactic surprise twist, and something changed. In part, it had to do with not wanting the mystery to be solved; I appreciate a good explanation as much as the next moviegoer, but I also believe that situations are infinitely more frightening when they happen for no apparent reason. Mostly, however, it …
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #24
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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About this movie



Genre: Horror
Release Date: Mar. 9, 2012
MPAA Rating: R

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