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Silent House (2011) Poster

(2011)

Trivia

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Contrary to the marketing's claim that the film was shot in one uninterrupted take, the entire movie was actually shot to mimic one continuous real-time take, with no cuts from start to finish, as a result the time span of the film's plot is exactly 86 minutes. It was shot in roughly 10 minute segments then carefully edited to hide the cuts. This was confirmed in an interview by Elizabeth Olsen and the directors.
Olsen stated during an interview that she suffered from nightmares during filming simply because she would think of frightening things throughout the day.
Due to the unique nature of the film's presentation as a single take, the production crew ran into several technical issues while filming, mainly surrounding lighting issues and mobility around the house. Since filming was carried out in 12-15 minute takes, there were several occurrences where entire sequences had to be thrown out and re-done repeatedly due to lighting problems or missed cues.
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This is a remake of the Uruguayan horror thriller film La casa muda (2010) which employed the same "continuous" take technique.
Director Chris Kentis describes the film as an "experimental film".
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Elizabeth Olsen is in every single scene of the film and the story is told from her point of view, the film never shifts to another character's perspective.
When it came down to casting for the role of Sarah, Kentis and Lau sought an actress with theatrical training due to the demanding nature of the filming process; Elizabeth Olsen was selected after impressing Kentis and Lau with her audition.
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Rope (1948) and Russian Ark (2002), which are both also single take films, along with the home invasion thriller The Strangers (2008), all served as inspiration for this film.
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The film's plot begins roughly around 5:52 PM and ends at 7:18 PM.
Even though this is the first film released starring Elizabeth Olsen, this was the third film she made after Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011).
When writing the script for the film it ultimately resulted in only 55 pages which left the filmmakers concerned as to wether or not the timing would translate well during filming. In regards to this dilemma director Laura Lau said "We wondered wether it would time out properly because there are no cuts, there's no way to fix it in post it has to pace perfectly when you shoot it. So I think that was a huge challenge in terms of writing the script".
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Upon acquiring the house used for filming, the directors rewrote the script in order for it to be compatible with the restrictions and characteristics of the house.
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In terms of the film's unique presentation (being presented as a single take following one character), Lau said: "This entire movie is this woman's experience; it is her reality [...] it is one character's point of view, it's exactly what she's experiencing." She also stated that several aspects of the film were purposefully left open for interpretation.
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There is very little soundtrack present throughout the film, the most you hear of it is during the opening and closing credits.
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One of the three films that received an "F" CinemaScore from audiences upon their release in 2012, along with The Devil Inside (2012) and Killing Them Softly (2012).
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Film debut of Julia Taylor Ross and Haley Murphy.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

There were many subtle clues dropped throughout the film that foreshadowed the revelation that everything that happened was in Sarah's imagination:
  • Sarah attacked The Stalking Man with her uncle's handgun and missed all the shots in close range, this is because he was not real therefore she was shooting no one.


Sophia claims to be her childhood friend yet she does not remember her because she is not real, also no one else ever meets Sophia except Sarah. - Sarah sees two pairs of legs from under the table while hiding despite there being only one "intruder", this is because these two men are actually her father and uncle taking child pornographic pictures of her in a repressed memory being displayed. This girl is also wearing the pink taffeta dress that Sarah was holding previously.
Although the film's marketing campaign (as well as the promotion for the original film La casa muda) states that it is inspired by actual events, the specific events are not entirely known. According to Lau, she and Kentis were told, when approached to make the film, that it was based on an occurrence in Uruguay, though the details were left ambiguous:

"When we were approached to do the remake, the first thing that we were told, aside from the fact that it was a single take, was that it was based on a true story, and that the true story had to do with something that happened in a village in Uruguay like, 60 years ago, where there were dead bodies and incest was involved".
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Only 3 living characters appear in the film (The Stalking Man and Sophia only exist in Sarah's imagination while the little girl is actually a younger Sarah) in only one location making Silent House (2011) one of the most minimalist films ever made.
While writing the script for the film, Lau did extensive research on childhood sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from psychological trauma.
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