Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Silent House




Silent House

Directed by Chris Kentis & Laura Lau



Seemingly shot all in one continuous take throughout its entire running time, Silent House keeps the suspense levels high up until its unsatisfactory conclusion.

The ending is the most important part of a movie. It's what leaves the strongest impression on you after leaving the movie, and can either make or break your whole experience. Though the ending of Silent House certainly wasn't enough to completely break it, the obvious "twist" ending certainly didn't do it any favors. By 20 minutes in, the ending was obvious -- which for an ending that's supposed to be a surprise, isn't a very good thing.

From a purely technical viewpoint, I was very impressed by this movie. The way the camera moves from room to room without ever giving an accidental reflection in a mirror, or even casting a shadow was simply incredible. Brilliantly orchestrated and well-timed in its execution of actions, the mere thought of pulling of a feat like this is stunning. Yes, there are several movies which have been done like this (The Russian Ark and the original Silent House both spring to mind), but that does not make the feat any less impressive.

When it comes to the acting, I can't say I also wasn't impressed. Elizabeth Olsen's acting abilities were brought to everyone's attention in Martha Marcy May Marlene, but with this she has solidified herself as a very talented young actress with a lot of potential. How she, in particular, was able to keep focus and remember the entirety of her dialogue and actions is beyond me. The limited supporting cast also perform well, but considering how the camera is continuously following Olsen for the entirety of the film, she is definitely the highlight here.

When all is said and done, this movie is more entertaining to me as a technical achievement than as an actual movie. The camerawork may be shaky, out of focus, and even headache-inducing at times, but considering the ending result, I can't complain. So despite being saddled with a weak ending (that reminded me in more ways than one of David Lynch's Mulholland Drive), I would still say this is a pretty decent horror movie. Worth giving a look.
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