With the last horror movie I saw, The Woman in Black, impressing me I decided to give a Silent House a try. Now from the trailers I didn’t know what to expect other than a girl, a house, and of course some unknown killer that is in a house. I have to say I wasn’t too excited about this tired and true plot, but I still had hopes that it would be well done or contain a surprise I didn’t see coming. Did I get what I wanted from this movie? In a nutshell no, this movie didn’t deliver for me, and was definitely not one of the better horror movies I’ve seen. To find out more details about this flick keep on reading.
Silent House focuses on a young girl named Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) and her father (Adam Trese) as they attempt to fix up an old house they used in the summer, with the help of her Uncle Peter (Eric Sheffer Stevens). While working on cleaning up a room, Sarah happens to hear a noise upstairs that she and her father investigate and soon the terror begins as Sarah attempts to uncover the meaning for the attacks. See Trailer here
So what was the problem with this fairly simple plot that is typical of a horror movie? The big problem was the way it was presented. For one thing most of the movie was shot essentially in the dark, with most of the screen time being shots of shadows, walls of the house, and of course the floor. While the darkness does provide a nice slice of fear, making your imagination paint the picture of what lurks in the shadows and what is to befall the girl. Combined with the eerie silence, enclosed spaces, and occasional creepy music, the scenery really had the potential to continue scaring you or in my case making you feel alone in the house. Despite this though, this fear is overshadowed by a few things that were pathetic. One thing is the camera work that was jumpy, out of focus and spastic. It may have been a cost cutting method, it may have been an attempt to make the scenes more chaotic, but this at best amateur level camera work was really more distracting than anything. The combination of the lighting and camera work did help with one thing, hiding the face of the killer. The poor lighting of this movie helped with establishing the freakiness of the movie, but the explanation behind the poor lighting was pretty pathetic. . What I mean by this is the house was incredibly dark because all the windows had been broken and boarded up and the electricity just happened to be off was incredibly cheesy to me and just a poor reason to use poor lighting.
Pushing aside the creepy settings, was there anything else scary about this movie? Well from the audience’s reaction, yes there were some moments that caused people to scream or jump in their seats. I do have to applaud that unlike most horror movies, these scenes were not obvious to me to pick out, mostly because the entire movie was filmed like something was going to jump out, and that adds some unpredictability to the film. Unfortunately for fans who like to jump, these scenes are few and far in between, and a majority of the scaring attempts come from Sarah’s screaming, which does get annoying at times. It is here I will also say that a lot of the scariness to the movie gets diluted by the fact that although the stalker is so close to her, he somehow can never catch Sarah, which made this villain either really slow, or just plain pathetic as a killer.
Perhaps the final thing I wish to comment on is how unorganized I felt the film was. There was a lot of random flashing, jarring movements, and screaming, which I believe was an attempt to add a little mystery to the movie. Unfortunately it came out more confusing than anything until I figured out the twist about halfway through the movie. Once I had that foundation down, the shots made sense, though they were still sporadically thrown out through the movie. As for the twist, for me it was anticlimactic and a little cheap written, which left me disappointed. Although there is some justice in the end, and those who like the emotion driven revenge plots should be happy with the ending.
Overall Silent House is a movie worth a Netflix rent and really nothing more. With little dialog, amateur camera work, and the anticlimactic ending there really is not much to drive you to come to the theater. I do applaud the creepy setting they painted, and the girl was cute as well, but other than that I can’t really say much more. My scores for this movie are as follows:
Movie overall: 4.0-4.5
Until next time keep enjoying the movies.