Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 30
  2. Negative: 4 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew Lapin
    Mar 9, 2012
    85
    Silent House is smart about its scares as well as its delivery method.
  2. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mar 7, 2012
    83
    A denouement more textbook than thrilling stalls some of the movie's power. But the early chills are potent, intense.
  3. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Mar 8, 2012
    75
    Silent House feels relentless, suffocatingly tense and almost unbearable. And that's a very good thing.
  4. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Mar 7, 2012
    67
    The long take pulls you into the realism of the moment, heightening any sense of unease already established by the story. In Silent House, directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau ("Open Water") exploit the hell out of that uneasiness and keep pushing its limits.
  5. 63
    Silent House is a bundle of horror-flick tropes yoked together like a package deal.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Mar 8, 2012
    63
    It will make you jump, to be sure, and your heart to beat a little bit faster. But what's truly scariest about it takes place not in the body, but in the mind.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 8, 2012
    63
    "Paranormal Activity" has been here before, of course, but Silent House springs tangy new tricks, and Olsen is a primo scream queen.
  8. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 7, 2012
    63
    The bad news is that Silent House is 88 minutes long, and the final half hour represents a descent into an anticlimax that ends with a scene as dumb as it is disappointing.
  9. Reviewed by: Jonathan Crocker
    May 7, 2012
    60
    Technically impressive, genre-smart and nerve-shredding while it lasts, Silent House is really just a fun campfire horror tale.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 7, 2012
    60
    It's still atmospheric enough, and like the original, has a quasi-theatrical event status. But it feels like a copy.
  11. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Apr 30, 2012
    60
    It works as a suspense-building scare machine, given heart and depth by Olsen's performance - though it's still an effective exercise in misdirection rather than a strikingly original vision, and now it's a remake of an effective exercise in misdirection.
  12. Reviewed by: Jason Bailey
    Mar 8, 2012
    60
    As it stands, the picture's primary subject is its style; the promotional materials give as much space to the trickery ("a tension-filled, real time journey, experienced in a single uninterrupted shot") as they do to rising leading lady Olsen.
  13. Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
    Mar 7, 2012
    60
    Once the twist becomes apparent, the film stops being scary and you stop caring about Sarah, despite Olsen's graceful performance. It's a shame. If the film stayed on track, it might have been come close to being a classic. As it is now, it's a huge missed opportunity.
  14. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Mar 6, 2012
    60
    Even this terrifically talented performer can't sell a Shyama-lana-ding-dong of a third-act twist that will make more eyes than heads roll.
  15. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Mar 8, 2012
    55
    This is good-for-you, arthouse-style horror. Which doesn't mean it's necessarily any good.
  16. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Mar 8, 2012
    50
    The film's most interesting aspects are its gimmicks rather than its frights.
  17. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Mar 8, 2012
    50
    This is acting that seems more freaked out, more traumatized than it ought to for a movie about an unwanted houseguest.
  18. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Mar 8, 2012
    50
    Even in a predictable horror film like Silent House, Olsen draws empathy like a magnet.
  19. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Mar 8, 2012
    50
    Its most remarkable featis sustaining the level of forebodeingly atmospheric suspense.
  20. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Mar 7, 2012
    50
    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. The explanation, if that's what it was, seemed contrived and unconvincing.
  21. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Mar 7, 2012
    42
    There's probably a graduate thesis to be drawn from this, about what audiences want from horror films, and ways to make viewers uncomfortable with their own voyeuristic desires, but that doesn't make the thrills any less sour, or the end any less exploitative. (Or worse, dull.)
  22. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Mar 8, 2012
    40
    The film is at its best as a fast-paced enigma. When Kentis and Lau start explaining what's actually going on, Silent House takes a turn not just for the worse but the ludicrous.
  23. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 8, 2012
    40
    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.
  24. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Mar 6, 2012
    40
    Silent House does superficially spiff up the haunted-house movie, but it's not built to last.
  25. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Mar 3, 2012
    40
    Pulling off the thespian equivalent of running a marathon, the hyperventilating Olsen works awfully hard in the service of a film that, in the end, does little or nothing to preserve her character's integrity.
  26. Reviewed by: Kate Erbland
    Mar 2, 2012
    40
    Silent House is undeniably built on its "one-shot, real-time" gimmick. And while it works reasonably well - especially in the first half of the film - it's still just a gimmick trying to gussy up a common horror flick.
  27. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Mar 9, 2012
    38
    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.
  28. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Mar 2, 2012
    30
    A creaky haunted house that, once the big twist is revealed, makes very little sense at all.
  29. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Mar 10, 2012
    25
    "The silence will kill you!" warn the posters for Silent House. That's only if the boredom doesn't get you first, though.
  30. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Mar 4, 2012
    25
    Silent House dies a sudden and egregious death when the amateur players in Olsen's company, Adam Trese and Eric Sheffer Stevens, as her character Sarah's father and uncle, respectively, open their traps.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 52 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 21
  2. Negative: 4 out of 21
  1. Mar 9, 2012
    7
    I'll be honest I was pretty surprised with how much I liked this movie. I wasn't even going to see it because I thought it was the usual home invasion movie with the main character killing the intruder at the end of the film. I usually go see a movie on Tuesday and one on Friday when there are multiple movies coming out that I want to see. Well I thought The Raven came out today and that it what I was originally going to see today and come to find out it doesn't come out until next month. So anyways it was down to this and John Carter. I picked Silent House and wasn't let down. I think the darkness of the house kept the suspense up all movie. Elizabeth Olsen did a great job and it doesn't hurt that she is nice to look at. Full Review »
  2. Mar 12, 2012
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Ugh! I get so tired of these movies that look frightening as hell in the trailer, with a great young actress like Elizabeth Olsen, and they turn out to be (1) boring and (2) completely B.S. (Incidentally, I was more freaked out by the usher in my theater who grabbed my shoulder asking me to take my feet of the seat in front of my than by anything in the movie). I"d love a return to "intruder" movies that involve a protagonist and an actual "bad guy", rather than realizing half way through the movie that the protagonist IS the bad guy and that she's so cracked from early-life abuse that she's actually wreaked all the havoc thus far in the movie. Oh yeah, it's a "psychological thriller", Marc. Blah! Don't buy it. Not scary, not good. I'll give it three points because Elizabeth Olsen is truly a great young actress. But the disappearing girl on the road, the toilet bleeding from the bathroom ceiling, the blood spreading on the bed - all crap. Rent a better horror movie. Don't waste your time with this sucker. Full Review »
  3. Nov 30, 2012
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. At best, "Silent House" is an interesting experiment of a film - a movie that's more suspense than horror, and goes for a decidedly unique approach by making the entire feature appear as a continuous shot. Although this does allow for some decent build-up and tension at first, by the second act the film gets somewhat monotous and sometimes tedious, with only Elisabeth Olsen's cleavage to maintain any engagement whatsoever.

    However, anything good the movie had going for it is completely lost in the third act. Although this is delivered in a frustratingly cryptic and rather clumsy manner, the climax reveals that Olsen's character has essentially developed a dangerous psychological dichotomy, which has apparently been festering within her all this time since her father and uncle sexually abused and impregnated her as a child, then forced her to undergo an abortion. This mental scarring takes her over during the film's runtime, making her see things and hiding from her childhood demons, until in the end she finally kills her father and leaves her uncle miserably whimpering in the corner.

    Personally, this took the plot just too far in the wrong direction. Horror/suspense films in which the main character is crazy are often, at best, only decent to start. But to discover, after we've spent just enough time following her about the house to become attached to her, that our lead is suffering a mental breakdown due to a tragic and horrific past is a truly depressing revelation to have to sit through, and leaves you feeling in need of a shower. There is no real triumph here - Olsen's character has not really claimed any victory, because she has not conquered her fear of her past. She has only bludgeoned to death the perpetrator of her abuse, and will likely wander off into the rest of her life as the tortured soul we've endured the presence of for the past ninety minutes. This is not a happy film, a scary film or a gripping film - it's just a bad experience.
    Full Review »