Silent House [2012] ★½

Many have heaped praise on the technique used in this haunted house chiller, but directors  Chris Kentis and Laura Lau take an awfully long time getting to the actual plot, content to spend the first half of the movie doling out “boo!” moments. In fact, those moments never really fade away, and most of them are pretty effective. But after the third or fourth I felt I’d had my fill for a while. Elizabeth Olsen plays Sarah, a young woman staying with her father (Adam Trese) and uncle (Eric Sheffer Stevens) at their vacation house in the country while they clean it up in order to sell it. Logic goes down the drain when she finds herself trapped in that creepy old house for 90 minutes (the entire thing is played out in real time). Why? Do not bother asking questions. The movie makes zero sense, and when the big mystery is finally revealed, “Silent House” takes a turn to the absurd. Olsen, who made an impressive debut in last year’s  “Martha Marcy May Marlene” managed to hold my attention throughout this ridiculous movie, but at the end of the day, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. By favoring style over content, directors Kentis and Lau have sacrificed thrills and effective storytelling. Incidentally, that same technique was used in 2004′ “Open Water” except for one tiny difference: “Open Water” worked. It worked because we cared about those characters. We wanted them to survive. In “Silent House” however, we have no character development, no nothing. So ultimately, how are we supposed to care about this girl if we know nothing about her right? That’s exactly why “Silent House” failed in my opinion. I guess in trying to be original, it fell short. Oh and did I mention that the ending sucked?

Rating: 1.5/4

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