CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Horror, Thriller
  • 2011

Silent House

Film4 Silent House

Synopsis

Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) begins to suspect that she, her father and uncle are not alone in their creepy old summerhouse. Horror remake notable for giving the appearance of having been shot in one take

About

Part home-invasion horror, part Repulsion-style psychodrama, Silent House (from the creators of 2003's Open Water), is a remake of Uruguay's 2010 La Casa Muda, which was edited to give the illusion that it was shot in one continuous, unbroken shot. Unlike its famous single-shot forefather, Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (whose real-time conceit it also shares), Silent House doesn't stick to one relatively modest apartment, instead preferring to rove all over a large house, from attic to cellar and into the grounds surrounding this remote homestead.

There's something about houses as spaces that invite this kind of internalised horror. The German word for uncanny, 'unheimlich', translates more directly as 'un-homely'. An Englishman's home is his castle; invasion is a personal attack. Home is where the heart is; a heartless home is a literal expression of the unheimlich. It's these types of tensions that Silent House plays on, initially with a some success, largely due to the performance of Elizabeth Olsen, whose character is the keystone on which the film's structure rests.

Unfortunately, at a certain point about an hour in, it all starts to unravel, and, should you glance at the time, you'll realise there's still about half an hour left to go, and that there's simply no way to spin out any logical conclusion to what has gone before into a half an hour's worth of satisfying narrative. And so it proves.

In a nutshell

Elizabeth Olsen continues to emerge as one of the most interesting young actresses around, but she can't do much with the final act of this frontloaded exercise in technique over story.

by Catherine Bray

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Million Dollar Arm

    Million Dollar Arm

    Struggling sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) has the idea to launch a reality TV contest in India that offers contestants the chance to land a Major League Baseball contract

  • Film4

    Let's Be Cops

    Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. star in a buddy cop-impersonator comedy

  • Film4 Half Nelson

    Half Nelson on Film4

    Ryan Gosling stars as an inner-city high school teacher struggling with a drug problem in Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden's Oscar-nominated drama on Film4

  • Film4 Rust and Bone

    Rust And Bone on Film4

    Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts star in Jacques Audiard's romantic drama on Film4

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share