User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 49
  2. Negative: 10 out of 49

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Jan 25, 2013
    4
    Silent House proposes an interesting gimmick, which is to shoot an entire film in one take, providing us with the unblinking view of our main characters' lives, but then unfortunately fuels it with one of the most tedious, mundane, repetitive storylines in a blue moon. The story here is so unfit to work alongside an impressively genuine gimmick that it distracts the viewer and we are left to solemnly hope that we will see this gimmick illustrated more efficiently in the near future.

    Our story is set with Sarah, played by Elizabeth Olsen, a woman working with her father (Adam Trese) and uncle (Eric Sheffer Stevens) to repair a rather decrepit countryside home that lacks electricity in order to churn a healthy profit. Call it the American Dream. Until Sarah discovers that the house seems to be able to crank out ominous noises and strange quirks, she feels frightened to even be in the home. Call it the American scream.

    The remainder of the film consists of our desperate heroine, wandering around in this strange little locale in the middle of desolate nowhere as she explores the attic, the upstairs, occasionally being a victim to a loud, abrupt noise that not only serve as her misfortune, but ours simultaneously, when we discover this is all the film has to offer in terms of scares.

    What we get as a storyline isn't too deep, but rather an awkwardly put together assembly of odds and ends that do nothing but accentuate unusual horror movie logic than can not be explained. Sarah, her father, and her uncle arrive at the home rather late in the day, and plan to spend the night there and rise bright and early to continue working on the house. Why didn't they just rise bright and early the next morning, drive to the home, and spend the whole day working on it? What's the attraction to sleep in a creepy, dilapidated, barely-standing home in the middle of nowhere? Also, when Victoria has the ability to finally leave the house, in the middle of the film when she finds her uncle arriving home, why doesn't her and her uncle stay outside and drive away, seeing as there is no cell phone reception. To give the film a runtime over eighty-minutes, that's why.

    Elizabeth Olsen is apparently on a path clearer than the ones her two twin sisters, Mary-Kate and Ashley, took, I often hear. Here, she is performing an obligation. An obligation that nearly requires her to perform in a low-budget horror film that will provide her with bread on her table, a film under her belt, and hopefully enough recognition to advance her to other, more sufficient projects.

    At several points, I was reminded of the film The Woman in black, released a few months before Silent House. That film was made with a true sense of detail, artistry, and successfully mimicked that of a Hammer horror film. What is lacking here is the element of detail, as we are given the same cardboard setting to stare at for the entire eighty minutes of the film and nothing truly ever comes to life as it did in that film. I felt consumed by the setting there. Here, I felt manipulated by it.

    Silent House's idea of using one long, continuous take was predicated off the fact that the original Uruguayan film, La casa muda this is remaking used the same little gimmick. What it succeeds in is giving us a real-time look into Sarah and her situation. One almost hates to belittle the effort of the filmmakers and cast, who definitely needed to adjust to the idea of having a "cue" when to walk on screen, take place, and most likely possessed the thought of doing something incorrectly, ruining the one-take design. It's too bad what we're given is a real-time look into a character in situation not worth watching.

    Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, and Eric Sheffer Stevens. Directed by: Chris Kentis and Laura Lau.
    Collapse
  2. Nov 30, 2012
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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.
    Expand
  3. Sep 30, 2012
    2
    This copies everything from the Uruguayan film La Casa Muda. It's not scary, the acting is tedious and the final act is a complete waste. Elizabeth Olsen's acting talent has been tossed aside for PG-13 style scares.
  4. Aug 28, 2012
    4
    Myself rating 'Silent House' would be kind of unfair. The let down ending was spoiled to me and my attention wandered throughout most of the film. I was not frightened at any point and spent most of it playing Alchemy on my phone and only occasionally glancing at the movie. Elizabeth Olsen is pretty admirable, doing one straight cut for an-hour-and-a-half where she hyperventilates for most of the second half. In comparison, the other men in the film portraying her father and uncle fizzle in her presence. The first half is recommendable (of course, only if you have no knowledge of how it ends), but 'Silent House' gradually descends into an absurd let down that could have been better than standard horror movie execution. Expand
  5. Mar 20, 2012
    4
    Im only giving this movie a 4 because the story line was good. The rest goes down hill. The bad acting from the father and son was as bad as it gets and destroys the movie plus the fact that the movie was not put together well at all. This movie could have been a block buster. What were they thinking???? Do not waste your money on this movie, it wont be out long anyway. wait for it to come on tv. Even then you will be disappointed. Not the worst movie I ever saw but is in the top 10 of the worst movies I ever saw. My girlfriend embarrassed me with her snoring. Lucky for me there were only 6 people in the theater. Expand
  6. Mar 12, 2012
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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. Expand
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: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.