Silent House Reviews

Top Critic
Nigel Floyd
Time Out
May 1, 2012
Filmmakers Chris Kentis and Laura Lau ('Open Water') should have plugged the original's plot holes and straightened out its logic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Ian Buckwalter
The Atlantic
March 9, 2012
The camera's unblinking eye constantly stays with Olsen, and we feel in as much danger as she is.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
March 9, 2012
It's Olsen's performance that makes Sarah's plight matter. And the actress proves that her mesmerizing turn in last fall's Martha Marcy May Marlene -- about a woman on the lam from a cult -- wasn't a fluke.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 9, 2012
Silent House feels like a psychotic episode come to life. It's impressive and oppressive, and it very effectively gets on your nerves.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
March 9, 2012
[Olsen is] terrific at showing shifts of emotion just underneath the skin of her wide, china-doll face.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
March 9, 2012
Paranormal Activity has been here before, of course, but Silent House springs tangy new tricks, and Olsen is a primo scream queen.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
March 9, 2012
Olsen is compelling even when the film isn't.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
March 9, 2012
The creeping presence of horror-flick hokum not only robs the scares of their strength, it shatters the realism that the single-take format is trying to convey.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
March 9, 2012
Demonstrating the limits of being too clever in a genre movie, the art-house chiller "Silent House" lets the tenseness of its first act trickle away.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
March 9, 2012
A scary, yet thoughtful - some might even say deep - art-house frightfest.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
March 8, 2012
Sometimes you don't want to know what is lurking in the dark because the answer is just too obvious and dumb.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Neil Genzlinger
New York Times
March 8, 2012
It's not hard to guess the source of her horror, and so the film's most interesting aspects are its gimmicks rather than its frights.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
March 8, 2012
Sarah does any number of silly things while scurrying through this not-so-silent house, but keeps the audience on her side; you want her to get out of the house immediately but you don't get annoyed with her when she can't.
Top Critic
March 8, 2012
Even if Silent House had turned out as grimy, gory and stupid as much of its terrorplex ilk, the film would still be an achievement simply owing to its construction.
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
March 8, 2012
"Silent House'' is up to something. The filmmakers, Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, must have seen plenty of horror movies worth discussing in a women's studies class.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
March 8, 2012
The tricky camera moves that fill up "Silent House" make for one-half of a nerveracking horror film - before the movie's obviousness just gets on your nerves.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 8, 2012
The directors have come up with a new and powerful way to film a thriller: Silent House contains no quick editing in the active moments, and there is never an instance when the movie cuts unexpectedly to something scary as the soundtrack thunders.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
March 8, 2012
"The silence will kill you!" warn the posters for "Silent House." That's only if the boredom doesn't get you first, though.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
March 8, 2012
A denouement more textbook than thrilling stalls some of the movie's power. But the early chills are potent, intense.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
March 8, 2012
It wouldn't work without the exceptional work of Olsen. Her uneasily captivating performance here could almost be viewed as the "why" prequel to Martha Marcy May Marlene, the other chiller from Sundance 2011 that established her as rising star to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
March 8, 2012
Gets it right for a good stretch, building the pressure to the boiling point as star Elizabeth Olsen appears to break down onscreen. But once the stumbling starts, it doesn't really stop until the movie ends.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 8, 2012
My attention was held for the first act or so. Then any attempt at realism was abandoned, and it became clear that the house, and the movie containing it, were devices to manufacture methodical thrills.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
March 7, 2012
It's a home-invasion shocker a la "The Strangers," but this one is made even more trippy by the gimmick that the film appears to be shot in one long take and occurs in real time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
March 7, 2012
Look hard and you might find a few thrills in a potboiler called Silent House, but I was fighting too hard to stay awake to pay much attention.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 7, 2012
Unfortunately, so much of what could be great about this movie is undercut by the instability of the hand-held camera and the weak ending.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
March 7, 2012
Olsen continues to reveal a startling comfort and maturity in front of the camera for someone so young and relatively inexperienced. But the film's dexterous cinematographer, Igor Martinovic, is just as much of a star behind the lens.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
March 6, 2012
Those Olsens and their houses, huh?
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
March 6, 2012
For 88 minutes, Olsen rivets our attention, and the camera's, so fiercely it verges on unbearable. Silent House is her movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
March 6, 2012
Silent House does superficially spiff up the haunted-house movie, but it's not built to last.
Top Critic
Rob Nelson
Variety
March 6, 2012
The pic's true star is Martinovic's unblinking camera, which really ought to have been let loose in some other house.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
March 2, 2012
A certain technical virtuosity is the signal virtue of Silent House, a creaky haunted house that, once the big twist is revealed, makes very little sense at all.
Top Critic
Eric D. Snider
Film.com
February 22, 2012
Practically a master class in how to tell a spooky-house story.
Full Review | Original Score: B+