I can’t say this movie is enjoyable, however, it’s one of the most compelling and surprisingly scary movies I have seen in a long time. I’m 44 years old and have seen sooooo many movies in my life that to find one that actually makes my heart beat faster and makes me hold my breath several times, well, that’s worth the high score. It’s not perfect, so don’t think I’m tauting a fantastic life changing accomplishment in film making, it’s not. The reasons I dig this movie so much are kind of hard to put into words, I’ll try.
The story is set up pretty quickly up front in a semi-hurried way, but still manageable and believable. That’s saying a lot for a horror style movie. This time we meet a young woman, her father, and her uncle as they are working on fixing up an broken down old lake house to be sold. It’s old, windows boarded up, creaky floors, creaky doors, lots of things covered with pieces of cloth which always creeps me out for some reason. I think I saw a movie a long time ago in which a whole family had been murdered and left in a house and all the furniture was covered with sheets and dust and it just freaked me out…but back to Silent House. We understand right away that everyone is creepy, even a young women who comes around to say hi, a friend from the past? Yes, that’s a question mark. Right away the uncomfortableness begins with sounds outside of our view. Our leading young lady is in a mostly dark room, lit only by the movie’s main source of light, a big flashlight lantern, and a scraping sound in the hall followed by a thump made me hold my breath. I can’t help it, it scared the shit out of me. I have been in old dark houses and sounds are freaky. I’m not generally scared by “scary” movies because it’s all Hollywood scares, and this time they present it differently so I had the fear in me.
To mention the style of the movie seems a bit boring at this point, as you probably already know it’s made to look like one long take. It’s a good approach to the look of the movie, and it is a remake of a movie from South America which did happen in one long take, so the makers of Silent House wanted to keep with that concept. There is never a break from our leading character. Her face fills the screen a lot, which is fine with me. Miss Olsen does an amazing job of convincing me that she’s going from just being in a creepy house to being scared out of her mind and still having to maintain some sense of composure to get through it all. As we get through her first freight it just never stops from then on. It’s a lot of her being scared and lighting that gives me that super trapped feeling. I do think that’s a major accomplishment with a movie. For me to feel convincingly trapped in a situation, clostrophobic, afraid of what’s just outside the orb of light we have to protect us, it all makes this movie that much more entertaining, in that scared kind of way.
There are moments when I drew my feet up to my seat, squeezed my pillow just a bit tighter, and wanted some kind of escape. THAT is a groovy way to feel during a movie. I wasn’t scared in the way that I used to be when I was young young young, but even to revisit a hint of that again after all these years is very exciting. There is one scene with a Polaroid camera as the light source that alone made me never want to be in an old dark house or haunted house at a fun fair, or anything like that ever again:)
I won’t give anything away about the story beyond the big points, a young woman, her father, her uncle, stuck in the house tormented, in danger, and many ???’s about what’s really going on. Silent House made me want more freights. I get a certain flash back to being a young movie watcher, still amazed and afraid and convinced without the jaded view. I appreciate that. Here are my words I couldn’t find to describe this movie watching experience – Ultimately Silent House has a message, a lot of tension that’s orchestrated with their style of the “one shot” presentation, absolutely amazing leading young actress, and a well designed telling of their story with a mixture of haunted house, horrific happenings, and movie making magic.
- Feature Commentary – Both Directors take you through the movie revealing many secrets. It’s such a shame there are not any other extras as a movie like this demands them.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art : 9/10 and Menu: 2/10
This is an excellent cover image. Yes, again I like a cover, shock!! The image of the young lady holding back a horrific scream in the dark, perfect. It tells part of the story, it’s striking and I would have this as a poster in my house. The menu is just navigation, so that’s that.
Audio & Video: 7/10
Shot digitally on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II (yes a DSLR camera) with a multitude of different camera styles Silent House looks great on Blu-Ray. The 1.85:1 aspect ratio fills your screen with the vibrant image. I have seen some people complain about how flat the image looks on the disc but I think it actually adds quite a bit of creepiness. The trade mark Depth Of Field look that you can achieve using Canons DSLR camera’s is used quite a bit giving things a real eerie feel.
The 5.1 Master Audio track is good but not a superb example of how good a Blu-Ray track can sound. There are a few moments where it sounds like something is above you and Elizabeth Olsen’s whimpering is always front and center but it does lack punch.
There are no extras to add that cherished “time” value with the whole package. The movie is worth more than a rental price, but I wouldn’t have it to own….unless I could find it for around 10 bucks. The $20 price tag doesn’t do much for me, however, if you are a collector of all things associated with creepy house vibe, you will want to own this little rough cut gem.
Overall Score 8/10