Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen), her uncle and father are preparing their vandalised summer home for sale. But broken windows and cracks in the plaster are the least of their problems when they discover they are not alone and there's more than just mould concealed behind the walls. Their idyllic, isolated retreat is transformed into a site of horror as the family's past returns to taunt and terrorise them.
Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) is a young woman who joins her father (Adam Trese) and uncle (Eric Sheffer Stevens) on the last day that they’re fixing an old lake house. The house is boarded up, the power cut off, and no neighbors are in sight. When Sara’s dad and uncle split up to attend to other things, she is left alone in the house… and things are getting a little creepy. In directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau’s (‘Open Water’) ‘Silent House’, Elizabeth Olsen fights for her life as unknown entities terrorize her while trapped inside the house.
Based on the 2010 Uruguayan movie ‘La Casa Muda’ directed by Gustavo Hernandez, ‘Silent House’ is really Elizabeth Olsen’s, every emotion she can muster is on shaky-cam and it follows her from start to finish, not relenting in making sure that the audience gets scared with her. Already the boarded-up and no electricity lake house setting is foreboding enough, but with Olsen’s Sara alone and truly frightened, the horror is cranked up to 11. Unfortunately, the payoff isn’t exactly impressive. All that time you invested in Sara’s plight and yet it falls short of something disconcerting.
For the most part, ‘Silent House’ is slightly impressive. It claims to be one long tracking shot of the events that unfold, but if you look closely, there are cuts and fadeouts that speak volumes on how the film has been clearly tampered or tweaked with in editing. The most interesting and scary sequence is the use of Polaroid flashes, one of the few sources of light the movie employs. The fleeting moments of illumination only makes Sara’s entrapment more intense and utterly useless in saving her. Oh how we feel for you, Sara.
‘Silent House’ has slapdash and limited budget production value but a horror movie it is not. It has become a showcase of Elizabeth Olsen’s beautiful face however terrified, and an exercise in stretching a very thin plot. If you want spooks, ‘Silent House’ is very much silent on the matter. You may hear Olsen scream many times – doesn’t mean you do the same.