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Silent House (2011)

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A girl is trapped inside her family's lakeside retreat and becomes unable to contact the outside world as supernatural forces haunt the house with mysterious energy and consequences.

Directors:

Chris Kentis, Laura Lau

Writers:

Gustavo Hernández (film "La casa muda"), Laura Lau (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Elizabeth Olsen ... Sarah
Adam Trese ... John
Eric Sheffer Stevens ... Peter
Julia Chan ... Sophia (as Julia Taylor Ross)
Adam Barnett Adam Barnett ... Stalking Man
Haley Murphy ... Little Girl
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Storyline

This movie is about Sarah as she and her dad go to their lakeside retreat to pack things up inside because it is being sold. While there, her uncle also helps get the place up to scratch so they can sell it. The uncle has to leave to get an electrician to check the wiring, but after he goes she starts hearing noises and seeing what she thinks are people inside the house. Soon she and her dad are attacked by someone or something and they end up in a fight for their lives. But there's something more going on here than she thinks. Written by Michael Hallows Eve

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content and terror | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 March 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La casa del miedo See more »

Filming Locations:

New Rochelle, New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,661,234, 11 March 2012, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$12,555,230, 8 April 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Elle Driver,Tazora Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kentis and Lau faced countless challenges while attempting to capture all the natural sounds featured in the film. First off, Olsen had to be followed through the house by an entire crew of people (among them the cinematographer, camera operator, and supporting performers), all of whom made disturbances as they ran after Olsen through the house. Try as they did to muffle the noise of their feet and equipment using all manner of footwear and padding, nothing worked. Worse, the co-directors abandoned every attempt to fix these scenes using ADR, as they felt Olsen's performance in the recording booth wasn't nearly as convincing as the breathing, panicking and screaming she unleashed during the 3 week shoot. Instead, they had to subject the audio to rigorous editing and mixing. They also didn't rely on a lot of foleying work in the studio since, again, the sounds captured in the actual house were more authentic. Then there was the house itself, which lay beneath the flight path of one of the busiest landing strips at LaGuardia Airport. Sound proofing the house was easy enough but, as a direct result, dampened the acoustics of the rooms. See more »

Goofs

(at around 25 mins) When Sarah is spooked and drops her lantern, the camera operators foot is shown beside the lantern for two frames as the camera operator turns to follow Sarah down the stairs. Evidence in the film shows Sarah isn't wearing the type of shoe shown in the frames. See more »

Quotes

Sarah: Come on, don't be shy!
See more »

Connections

Remake of La casa muda (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Wonder Why
Written by Rob Ritchie
Performed by Maritime Analog
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good idea but not scary enough

Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) is helping her father (Adam Trese) and uncle (Eric Sheffer Stevens) to renovate the family's old lakeside house before selling it. It's a place they have rarely visited in years. Local kids have smashed all the windows and blown the electrics meaning that the boarded up windows let in no light. The only light available is that which comes from a torch or hand-held lamp. While in the semi darkness and after her uncle has left for the day, Sarah hears a noise which her father goes to check out. He never returns. Sarah is left alone in the house with someone or something out to get her and her family and no way out.

The whole film was shot in such a way as that it looks like one continuous shot. I noticed the odd cut here and there but overall the idea is very successful. It genuinely feels as though Elizabeth Olsen is in the house for 85 minutes, running, hiding from and fighting whatever is after her. Using just one camera, Olsen is on screen for about 84 of the 85 minutes and has to carry the entire film. She does so with great aplomb. The one shot idea isn't original and indeed the film itself is a remake of a 2010 Uruguayan film but it's a nice gimmick that is well used.

The house is brilliantly dressed to maximise the creepy feeling. It creaks and whistles and is filled with all manner of sinister fittings from old furniture and toys to large objects under sheets and unknown items half hidden in the shadows. It also feels a little maze like though you get to know your way around as the film progresses. Elizabeth Olsen is dressed in typical horror attire with a tight white vest which shows off her 'ample talents' as well as the blood and dirt she accumulates throughout the film. Her performance is also mind blowingly excellent. She was superb in Mary, Marcey, Marlene and if anything even better here. She starts off a bit slowly but after twenty minutes goes all the way up to eleven where she stays until the final few moments during which she is pushing twelve. She is even better at the end than she was during the rest of the film.

So far, so good then. Unfortunately there are two major problems. The first is that it is nowhere near scary enough. I get scared by everything and I didn't jump once. Don't get me wrong, it's scarier than Dark Shadows but so is my girlfriend in the morning. For a proper 'scary' horror, it didn't produce the scares it needed to. There was plenty of tension but it didn't go anywhere. My second problem is that I worked out part of the twist after about eight minutes and had unravelled everything by the mid point. The film still ended in a satisfying way but I felt where we were heading was fairly obvious. On the other hand, my girlfriend said she thought about it at the beginning but it didn't totally click with her until the end so maybe I'm in a minority.

Overall the film will be best remembered for its clever cinematography rather than for its scares. It's a nice idea but the plot has been done a thousand times. It creates plenty of tension and intrigue but doesn't deliver the final blow. Elizabeth Olsen continues to impress and I look forward to seeing her again soon.

www.attheback.blogspot.com


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