Movie Review: "Silent House"


"Silent House" (Open Road Films)

There is a new up and coming star in Hollywood and her name is Elizabeth Olsen. She is the star of the new horror film ìSilent Houseî and if you donít like her you probably wonít like the movie. She is in virtually every frame of film that appears on the screen. She will look vaguely familiar to you since she has the ìfamilyî look, and she is the younger sister of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.

In "Silent House" she plays Sarah, a young woman who is working with her father, John (Adam Trese), and her uncle, Peter (Eric Sheffer Stevens), to repair the family lake house. Sarah hasnít been there in a while and the house has been taken over by vagrants who have damaged the place.

The house is in a remote locale where there is no cell phone service. It is always ominous in this type of movie when the characters say there is no cell phone service. You know there are hard times ahead, and that is what happens here. Uncle Peter has to go into town for supplies, leaving Sarah and her father to work on the house. There is no electricity so they have to use lanterns and flashlights when it gets dark. Shortly after Sarah and her father start working she begins to hear strange noises. A little later her father disappears.

The film is shot with a hand held camera which means it is jumpy and dizzying. The hand held camera seems to be the ìgo toî method of shooting movies these days and it is getting old. It had a unique flair about it when it was first used but now it has outlasted its purpose.

Olsen does a very good job of taking us into Sarahís fear. We can almost feel her heart race as she begins to be terrified of the ìpeopleî she thinks are in her house. We feel her anxiety and we even suffer her shortness of breath. This involvement of the audience in the plot through her makes the movie better than it otherwise would have been.

The film is not ìExorcistî scary but it does have some gotcha moments. Still there is nothing so bad it would send you running for the exits. When the final twist of the film is revealed most will have been expecting it.

The movie is rated R for suspense and violence.

Elizabeth Olsen is the reason to see the movie. Without her it would have been a run of the mill thriller but she puts her all into the role and makes it work. Based on the talent evidenced here she has a bright future ahead.

I scored "Silent House" a loud 6 out of 10.

Photo courtesy of Open Road Films

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