The Silent House Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 31, 2012
Brilliantly filmed and edited, with one or two decent scares. But the weak script lets it down, meaning that watching this film is a largely dull experience.
Super Reviewer
½ March 9, 2012
Very well filmed as one single long take, it impresses for the elegance and technique employed, but the script is just awful, with stupid characters, overcalculated chills (always forewarned by the intrusive score) and a ridiculous, illogical ending.
Super Reviewer
March 23, 2011
The Silent House was a movie of highs and lows for me. Parts of it were suspenseful and terrifying, while other parts were outright boring. And the overall plot is one that will probably turn off some as its revealed. Despite how uneven it is, though, I still recommend it. I love the ideas that went into making The Silent House, I just wish the final result was a little more consistent.
Super Reviewer
April 23, 2011
The Silent House gives the illusion that is was filmed in one take. I highly doubt this, as there are a lot of suspicious panning across solid black objects. Still the lengths of the takes is still impressive, if a little ambitious at times. Sometimes it's obvious the actors are walking around the crew. Luckily, the darkness soon covers it all up. I can't say much for the film really as I found it rather dull. It's pretty much a woman walking around a house in the dark. Once it was obvious that nothing scary was ever going to happen, I soon settled down and was just bored. Every time there was something suspicious in the background, a sound effect/musical cue would alert me to its presence. The film finally gets a plot in the last few minutes, which plays out through the credits in Polaroid form. Like a horror version of The Hangover's end credits, it was the best part, and the film should have focused on the photographed events, rather than being a tease for nothing.
Ryan M
Super Reviewer
½ March 22, 2012
** out of ****

The definition of "horror" states that - in the context of cinema - for a film to qualify as a successful entry into this genre, it must unnerve and elicit both negative and positive (but mostly negative) emotions from the viewing audience. If this is true, then "The Silent House" is half a horror movie; momentarily, it scares and keeps the viewer on edge, waiting for whatever has the potential to inevitably happen to happen, but when regarding those emotions, I can't say it left me with too many positive ones. My theory is that no matter how violent or depressing the movie, one can derive happy thoughts from the experience so long as they find it thought-provoking. I say this because in all honesty, it feels pretty darn good to think; so long as all that thinking gets you somewhere, to a conclusion, perhaps. In the beginning, I wasn't sure what to think; in the middle, I was experiencing some of those "positive emotions"; and by the end, I was left with nothing but dark, cold, bitter cynicism.

My problem was this: the film has basically used a gimmick (it was supposedly shot in one continuous take, and it runs about 80 minutes in length) to hold my attention for the time that it demanded, instead of using an absorbing story and characters to draw me in. I'll admit that it's seldom boring, and it intrigued me from beginning to end (although that's precisely where I draw the line); but in trying to make the film as creepy and tense as possible, director Gustavo Hernandez also forget some key ingredients. "The Silent House" could have been such an effective little chiller - and for extended but underwhelming periods of time it kind of is - had it avoided the obstacles that were involved in its making. It almost feels as if there was no written screenplay, and that the ambition alone was supposed to carry the film. The filmmakers should not have so arrogantly assumed such a thing.

The premise is incredibly simple. Laura (Florencia Colucci) and her father Wilson (Gustavo Olonso) make way by foot to an old cottage that lies on secluded ground. They intend to fix it up within the next few days for a friend of dad, who intends to sell the house soon after they finish the job. The two get to the estate a little too late for their liking, and Wilson says they'll start up in the morning. However, they must set up camp downstairs for the time being, since the upstairs is deemed "unsafe" and "unstable". And so they settle down on the various chairs, with the blankets that have been provided, and they try to get some shut-eye. But a loud noise disturbs Laura, prompting her to ask Wilson to go check it out. Of course, it's coming from upstairs; and of course, that's just where Wilson goes. When yet another noise is heard and father does not return, Laura goes looking for him and gets way more than she bargained for.

Most of the film is devoted to Laura looking around in the dark, dark house with a particularly illuminating lamp and a scythe in hand. Something must have made that noise, and clearly it's looking to get nasty; Wilson is found dead and bleeding in no time, and we see apparitions (unseen to Laura) that could very well be his killer(s). It remains intriguing and engaging for a while, but soon gets repetitive and rather pointless. Certain scenes, such as the one where Laura happens upon strange paintings of people with literally "blank expressions", give the film some steam; but it fails to catch fire.

The film is an outstanding technical achievement for Hernandez and his team. The production was completed in four days, and while that makes me somewhat doubt the authenticity of the single-take claims that alone sell the film, it can still be considered a mastery of cinematic technology. It certainly had me fooled, even if it was nothing more than a gimmick. The cinematography is also gorgeous, particularly when Laura's lamp lights the way. Such a light gives off an image that lends the film a certain quality; it's almost surreal and otherworldly. I just wish such things had been put to better use, or perhaps in a better film. They might have worked exceptionally well had the film been one of paranormal and ghostly qualities, but the twist ending reveals a true intent that is anything but from beyond the grave. Maybe if this had been a ghost story in the end, I would have enjoyed it more. All-in-all, I did enjoy a good portion of it anyways; but the twist ruined the entire experience and made me feel as if I had just wasted my time.

Nevertheless, it's still worth seeing if you're as big a horror fan as I am. There are some aspects worth looking into here, although I'm afraid all goodness is drowned out by the bad and the sadly mediocre stuff that comes in between. There are genuine moments of suspense, some cleverly placed jump scares, and the visual atmosphere is gold; but as I said, there are some great materials and resources here that simply belong in a film of different qualities and themes. It doesn't help that the story is weak, the characters grossly under-developed (although the twist is supposed to sort of rectify that), and the pacing unfortunately uneven. I love a good, suspenseful horror film, but this isn't one. By the halfway point, I was hoping that it would silence itself before I would be provoked to silence it, by turning off the DVD Player.
Super Reviewer
June 26, 2013
Questionable and not frightening in the least bit, "The Silent House" and director Gustavo Hernandez drop the ball with this lacking, wannabe thriller. Most of the time, when venturing back to see the original film that inspired the American remake, you find that it is far superior, but in this case, the American version is without a doubt more creepy and more spine-tingling than this unique, but wasted concept of the one long-take horror film. Florencia Colucci and the direction she is given is delivered at a snails pace and eventually lands on the scale of watching paint dry. There is no motivation and her emotions are all over the place, unbalanced, and unwarranted. The after credits sequence adds nothing to the film, and even at 79 minutes this film feels far too long. Never would I have guessed that the remake would be better, but upon a second viewing of the remake, I will certainly confirm this. Score one for America.
divinetrash
Super Reviewer
½ August 20, 2011
The film suffers due to a serious lack of character and story development, but what remains is a tense and suspenseful movie that inmediately grabs you and doesn't let go, thanks to the importance given to the camera, it's almmost another character, and the way the lighting tricks your mind, making you just as scared and confused as our protagonist.
John2223
Super Reviewer
½ February 3, 2011
¨La casa muda ¨(The Silent House) is an Uruguayan psychological horror/thriller that is engaging, atmospheric, tidy and effective spooky house film that will make you jump a couple of time.
USA remake in on the way.
July 31, 2012
Slowest paced scary movie of all time right here. In the end, it made little sense at all, what a waste. Maybe the remake tells a better story but I doubt it.
March 12, 2012
This horror film from Uruguay is a taunt, stylish horror film. Shot in way that gives the impression of being one long continuous take, The Silent House follows the terrors that await a young woman in a house without power in which something or someone seems to be stalking her. A taunt, edge-of-your seat thriller that will keep you guessing until the end.
March 31, 2012
I am hoping the American version is better. It was good and had some real scary moments and the use of the camera has some brilliant moments. It is short, which is good since it is exhausting to watch.
February 29, 2012
I don't know what to say about this movie. I loved the first part of it but the entire ending has me baffled. I can't remember the last time a movie left me this utterly confused about what the heck I just watched. The subtitles on the copy I had were really bad so I think that is to blame for the confusion. Any of my Spanish speaking friends want to explain this movie to me?
½ July 2, 2014
Slow to start and then the plot goes all over the place.
March 22, 2014
The idea of one continuous shot was gold, but it wasn't fashioned in an eminent manner. In fact, most of the time it just looked like poor acting. The atmosphere was fantastic, riddled with tension and suspense, but the ending failed to deliver. Yes, the movie did succeed in delivering a twist ending, but the twist was so fantastical and unrealistic, it was cringe-worthy. I am giving this movie 2 stars, only because of the fantastic idea behind it, and it's great atmosphere.
½ May 20, 2011
The Silent House was a film that I knew very little about before I watched it. I looked up the trailer and watched the wrong one. The film was remade by the states (Spanish flick) pretty well as soon as it was released. Well, this is one scenario where I think the film could be done better with a good second go around... though I still dug on this one to some levels. Said levels being mainly technical. First off, the camera work in this one is incredible. Was shot guerilla style and as one take. Hitchcock did something similar decades ago with his classic 'Rope'. Very cool idea there. Director Gustavo Hernández coupled that with some very moody atmosphere and creative shots (Dad's POV moment was awesome). The lighting in this was also striking. Most of the time is barely lit the actors and a few elements around them in that creepy house. Felt like Silent Hill (the game) in certain moments. On an acting standpoint, Florencia Colucci gave an intense and very well done performance. She basically had to carry the movie and I stayed on her side all the way. Even when her character wasn't the smartest, I rooted for her so kudos to her showing. With all this a haunting piano soundtrack, some nifty plot devices, and a pace that seemed like no time at all, and you get one worth owning? Moreless... Though the movie seemed put together, the story side of it needed someone to polish it right. The first half of the flick was supposed to be a haunting of sorts and while I can let stuff go on as to why characters stick around (to some levels) in those flicks; in this one is was insulting that the characters didn't even try to leave. Instead, they'd run around the house and try to figure things out that don't seem relevant in the least. If logitivity is your thing with horror flicks (it really shouldn't be) then stay far away from this one. Lastly, the ending, while interesting, didn't work. I don't know what the writers were smoking but they did to either make 'one last shock' or to excuse the silly character moves before it. Either way it didn't work. With all these complaints, there were still factors to The Silent House that I loved. The fact that I had to watch it a second time to get my real feelings toward it should say something. There's a lot of talent attached to this one, with some major 'F-U audience' moments. While I dug the movie, I look forward to seeing this one with another go-round. Maybe they got it right?
September 8, 2011
The Spanish have been leading the way in horror movies in recent years. Rec and the Orphanage are two examples of great horror's which makes it all the more disappointing that The Silent House is such a poor film. This the story of Laura and her dad , Wilson who are asked to do up an old house but it soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary house and that things are not what they seem. The best thing about this film is that it's only 80 minutes long. I don't know if i would have got to the end if it was a normal length film. This starts really well . It is suspenseful and has the feel of a Blare Witch type movie. There are very long scenes without breaking away , following the girl around this spooky house but then the film changes. It starts to become confused ( as i was) and far too clever for it's own good and instead of becoming a good old fashioned haunted house move it changes direction - for the worse. I was annoyed by this film because quite clearly it never had an ending to start with. The director snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory.
March 29, 2013
A fantastically original concept and film style brings audiences into a house of pure horror in "The Silent House". Filmed all in one take, this film shows the true talent of the actors, director and camera crews. The film manages to scare audiences effectively and often and has a much deeper meaning than audiences can put together. Definitely one to catch!
March 22, 2013
I saw this movie but I still don'y know what the concept was. Did the dad molest her and the uncle watch
February 20, 2013
This movie sucked so bad that it would even make a blind, deaf, and mute person complain. I want back my hour spent watching this movie. If this movie doesn't put you to sleep, it will surely piss you off.
- Helen Keller
January 8, 2013
The movie completely rests on the shoulders of Florencia Colucci as she is the female lead and is in every frame of the movie. She is so good and her every expressions appears to be genuine.
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