Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Relativity Faces Bankruptcy, Spelling More Disaster for 'Jane Got a Gun' Relativity Faces Bankruptcy, Spelling More Disaster for 'Jane Got a Gun' 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991 Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991

Elizabeth Olsen-Starrer Silent House To Open March 9; Impeccably Choreographed but Underwhelming

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 24, 2011 at 10:45AM

Open Road and Liddell Entertainment wisely waited for Fox Searchlight to spend their marketing and PR energy to promote Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy May Marlene before scheduling the opening of their own Sundance Olsen-starrer, Silent House, for March 9. Directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau (Open Water) shot the horror thriller--which places a young woman locked inside her family's isolated lake house with no contact to the outside world-- in one seamless 79-minute shot. (How they did that is another story.)
1
Thompson on Hollywood

Open Road and Liddell Entertainment wisely waited for Fox Searchlight to spend their marketing and PR energy to promote Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy May Marlene before scheduling the opening of their own Sundance Olsen-starrer, Silent House, for March 9. Directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau (Open Water) shot the horror thriller--which places a young woman locked inside her family's isolated lake house with no contact to the outside world-- in one seamless 79-minute shot. (How they did that is another story.)

One-shot movies, from Hitchcock's stitched-together Rope to steadicam digital tour-de-force The Russian Ark, are tough to pull off. Sundance reviews weren't stellar. A sampling and the trailer are below.

Variety:

Though it's based on the like-titled Uruguayan film "La Casa Muda," "Silent House" seems oddly named for a thriller whose titular abode boasts the creaky floorboards of an old, dark genre. Taking place in real time via one apparently unbroken shot, this technically impressive, ultimately sleazy indie puts its heavy-breathing and buxom young heroine (Elizabeth Olsen) through the ringer for 87 minutes and leaves a sour aftertaste even by the brutalizing standards of modern horror. Another stylistic exercise from "Open Water" directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, "Silent House" twists camera and narrative alike, but repulses more than it scares.

Moviefone:

'Silent House' is based on 'La Casa Muda,' a Uruguayan film that uses the same one-shot technique and the old "based on a true story!" canard. It's unclear whether or not 'Silent House' purports to be based on a true story (or just based on something based on a true story?) or why Lau and Kentis chose or were approached to remake it. The characters and dialogue are so wooden that once we get over the fascination of the camerawork and spooky bits and the true ghosts in the story are revealed, this 'House' falls apart like a pack of cards.

Hitfix:

The film is built on a foundation of secrets, of course, and one of the things the film does well is escalation. Building the right series of scares in the right sequence and milking each one to its maximum potential is the goal, and the film does it well on a mechanical level. Not perfectly, but well. For the film to really pay off, we have to believe the choices that Sarah makes, and that's the biggest problem in the film for me. Some audience members will be frustrated by her near-determination to stay in the house long past the moment she should leave and never look back, and they should be. It's one of the most fundamental problems in horror films… how do you maintain the isolation or the seclusion or the claustrophobia without also denying the simple logic of what a real person would do.

An Elle Driver presentation, Silent House is produced by Agnes Mentre of Tazora Films; exec producers are Adeline Fontan Tessaur, Eva Diederix, George Paaswel and Lynette Howell of Silverwood Films. Co–producer is Meir Gal. The screenplay was adapted by Lau from the Uruguayan film La Casa Muda, written by Oscar Estevez.

This article is related to: Genres, Independents, Video, Reviews, Marketing, Thriller, Remake, Horror , Trailers


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.