Silent House

Silent House

4.0 1
Director: Chris Kentis, Laura Lau

Cast: Chris Kentis, Laura Lau, Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese

     
 

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Chris Kentis and Laura Lau (Open Water) return to terra firma for this remake of the "real time" Uruguayan thriller La Casa Muda. Their summer cottage vandalized by squatters during the off-season, Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen), her father, andSee more details below

Overview

Chris Kentis and Laura Lau (Open Water) return to terra firma for this remake of the "real time" Uruguayan thriller La Casa Muda. Their summer cottage vandalized by squatters during the off-season, Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen), her father, and her uncle begin the laborious process of cleaning the place up when noises from within hint they are not alone. Now the deeper Sarah ventures into the derelict building, the further the secrets of her dark past are dragged out into the light. As with La Casa Muda, Silent House was shot in one continuous take, a production style that allows the viewer to experience the swelling tension of Sarah's horror firsthand as she unlocks a diabolical mystery.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
An impressive exercise in sustained tension, Chris Kentis and Laura Lau's single-shot horror remake Silent House is nevertheless a frustrating experience due to the fact that the duo compromise the original film as much as they improve on it. Their summer cottage vandalized by squatters during the off-season, Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen), her father John (Adam Trese), and her uncle Peter (Eric Sheffer Stevens) begin the laborious process of cleaning the place up to put it back on the market. Shortly after Peter leaves, however, noises from deep within the house hint that Sarah and her father are not alone. Now the deeper Sarah ventures into the derelict building, the further the secrets of her dark past are dragged out into the light. Back in 2003, Kentis and Lau burst onto the scene with their debut film Open Water, a relentlessly tense thriller that some hailed as the next Jaws. Much like Silent House, Open Water was inspired by actual events, largely took place in a single setting, and presented a formidable technical challenge (in the case of Open Water, shooting essentially an entire feature while submerged in shark-infested waters). Curiously, as quickly as Kentis and Lau emerged, they seemed to vanish back into the swelling tide of salt-water imitators -- and a DOA sequel -- that followed. Now, nine years later, they're back and they've got an impressive lead with up-and-coming actress Olsen, fresh off her critical success from 2011's Martha Marcy May Marlene. Unlike her character in that film, Olsen doesn't have a complex range of emotions to display here (at least, not until Silent House's mind-bending climax), although she manages the impressive feat of portraying suppressed terror with true conviction, and her presence in virtually every frame of the picture helps to make up for the prosaic performances from her co-stars Trese and Stevens. From the start, we realize that Sarah is in mortal danger, and co-directors Kentis and Lau create an impressive atmosphere of claustrophobia and swelling dread. As the frightened young woman searches desperately for an escape from the boarded-up cottage, Silent House becomes a genuinely inspired, shadow-strewn game of cat and mouse. By streamlining a few of the more perplexing elements of the original screenplay, Lau makes the action more fluid. Behind the camera, her partner Kentis offers up some tantalizing clues to the origins of the malevolent mystery, while executing a series of satisfying set pieces with style and confidence. In the original film, it was often difficult to determine exactly what Sarah was searching for as she scoured the cluttered shelves around the house. In this remake, not only are her motivations entirely clear, but the central plot point is handled in a way that makes much more sense for someone attempting to hide a dark secret. But sadly, by compromising a crucial component of the original movie's big reveal, Lau not only betrays a key character's true motivation, he also cheats the audience out of a satisfying ending. As a result, the tension that had been so effectively building over the course of the previous hour instantly dissipates, leaving Silent House feeling suspiciously incomplete as the credits begin to roll. Even for those who have never seen the original, it's painfully obvious that something important had been omitted as the film simply stops, rather than ending. The original version of The {|Silent House">Silent House">The {|Silent House wasn't a great movie, but it displayed a unique style and sinister edge that helped to elevate the material and ensured that the film lingered in our minds for days after viewing. By negating their many improvements at the last possible second, Kentis and Lau purposefully dull that edge in order to appeal to a larger audience. As a result, a shining example of a remake done right becomes the worst kind of missed opportunity -- a movie with the potential to be a modern genre classic, had the filmmakers possessed the courage (and faith in the audience) to actually follow through on its disturbing central concept.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/04/2013
UPC:
0025192132506
Original Release:
2011
Rating:
R
Source:
Universal Studios
Time:
1:26:00
Sales rank:
44,989

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Elizabeth Olsen Sarah
Adam Trese Actor,John
Eric Sheffer Stevens Actor,Peter
Julia Taylor Ross Actor,Sophia
Adam Barnett Stalking Man,Actor
Haley Murphy Actor,Little Girl

Technical Credits
Chris Kentis Director
Laura Lau Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Roshelle Berliner Production Designer
Nandy Cabrera Sound Editor
Geoffrey Cox Associate Producer
Katya DeBear Art Director
Eva Diederix Executive Producer
Thomas Fatone Associate Producer,Asst. Director
Meir Gal Co-producer
Hernán González Sound/Sound Designer
Lynette Howell Executive Producer
Juan Iervolino Sound/Sound Designer
Kymbra Callaghan Kelley Makeup Special Effects
Kristen Konvitz Associate Producer
Nathan Larson Score Composer
Mickey Liddell Executive Producer
Ludovic Littee Camera Operator
Igor Martinovich Cinematographer
Agnes Mentre Producer
Lucas Meyer Sound Mixer
Jennifer Hilton Monroe Executive Producer
Glenn T. Morgan Sound Editor
Francisco Nasser Sound Editor
George Paaswell Executive Producer
Roberto Parada Makeup Special Effects
Danny Perkins Executive Producer
Sandra Rios Makeup
Adeline Fontan Tessaur Executive Producer
Noah Vivekanand Timan Sound Mixer
Mathew Waters Sound/Sound Designer
Ben Wilkins Sound/Sound Designer

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Scene Index

Feature commentary with Co-director Chris Kentis and screenwriter/co-director Laura Lau

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