Silent House - Movie Review
In 2010, Uruguayan filmmaker Gustavo Hernandez created a movie that presented true events that occurred in the 1940s in Uruguay. The film was called La Casa Muda. In 2011, American filmmakers Chris Kentis and Laura Lau attempted to remake the film for American audiences. Their film is the English translation of Silent House.
Though both these films share the same story and name, the biggest similarity is in how they were made. Each film was one continuous shot for the entire length of the film. For Silent House, this meant that Kentis and Lau had to film for eighty-plus mins straight in (mostly) one house to create their film. They are no strangers to tricky shoots with limited cast and location, having previously shot the horror film Open Water which deals with two people who are lost at sea and are trying to survive until rescued.
From a technical standpoint, the film is beyond superb. Though there are brief moments during the film where the viewer pauses to wonder if a particular shot was where a cut occurred, for the most part the technique is engrossing and terrifying. The camera-work is, almost, another character in the movie. It's sort of like a play where the audience moves around with the performers. It has all of the typical shots you expect from a horror film like the intense close-ups to show fear or the long shots of hallways where your mind wonders what is about to pop out.
Besides the brilliant camera-work, special attention must be given to the lighting and sound-design. The lighting, alone, is deserving of mention come award season as the mostly dark house is just perfectly illuminated so the viewer misses nothing. Most of the time the source is the lamps being carried but even the exterior lighting creates ambiance. The sound-design is pitch-perfect and appropriate for any atmospheric horror film as it properly heightens the tension and provides just the right amount of jumps to make the horror memorable.Continued on the next page