“Full House” is a late 80’s television show that starred the likes of Bob Saget, John Stamos, and Dave Coulier. Of course, it is also the show that put Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen on the map, and on their way to being multi-millionaires. Over two decades later comes a movie, “Silent House,” about a much different house, and starring a different Olsen. Now the question is will “Silent House” be good enough to lead to the same success for Elizabeth Olsen?
Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen), and her father John (Adam Trese) join her uncle Peter (Eric Sheffer Stevens) at their old home. The plan is to renovate, and sell it before any more squatters can do more damage to it. After the discovery of some mold and some family awkwardness, Peter leaves to run an errand. With Peter gone, Sarah and John get to work on the house. That is until her father mysteriously disappears.
As many of you may know by now, “Silent House” is a remake of an Uruguayan film, which is known for being shot once in real time. Now I have read different accounts of how this remake is shot, and I’m not completely sure what to believe. It does appear that they try to shoot this in real time, and with as little editing as possible. That might explain some of the bad acting and/or dialogue from John and Peter.
It won’t take long for the audience to realize their attempt to shoot the movie in real time. Besides the star of the movie Elizabeth Olsen, its next biggest star is the person the audience never sees… the cameraman. The cameraman follows Sarah throughout the entire movie, and never films John or Peter unless they are with her. It does create an interesting view of things, and some good shots. On the other hand, it gets annoying in spots, including one scene when Sarah runs from the house. The audience will get dizzy, as the camera bounces up and down while chasing after her. Just think of it as a found footage, or documentary style movie, but the characters never acknowledge a camera being there with them.
The way the movie is shot definitely helps fill it with suspense, and tension. From the time her father disappears, the audience gets to see Sarah roam around the house, while trying to escape from weird noises and unexpected visitors. The house is locked up pretty well, including having the windows all boarded up, making it a challenge for her to escape. While the suspense and tension are great, it lacks the scares to complete the puzzle. The only scene that is remotely scary is when the lights go out, and Sarah is forced to take photos in order to see. Horror fans have seen this trick before, and it kind of takes away from the movie being shot from that one cameraman’s point of view. Really, only those that scare easy will find this movie scary.
As previously mentioned, the star of this movie is Elizabeth Olsen. It certainly isn’t her fault that the movie is not scary. She certainly plays the part of a young woman who is trapped in a house with someone out to get her. She easily masters being terrified, scared, confused, and definitely does her fair share of crying. It couldn’t have been easy having that cameraman following her around so closely for the entire movie.
I’m not sure what it is about the horror movies this year, but they sure as hell are doing a great job coming up with some crappy endings. As usual, I’m not going to give it away, but this is another movie that is going to have horror fans scratching their heads. There are some small signs of this kind of ending happening, but they do a good job of hiding it. It does help that the audience only sees Sarah the entire time. I can’t get too mad because I did expect a let down at the end, but at least it did make sense. However, the final scene of the movie is extremely weak.
While “Silent House” might not be the greatest movie, it certainly should lead to some success for Elizabeth Olsen. She easily handles everything that is thrown at her, including having the camera on her almost the entire time. If you are looking for suspense, and tension, then this is the movie for you. Just don’t expect to be scared unless you scare easily. And the ending, well you will just have to tell me whether that satisfied you or not. Because of a performance that her sister’s would be proud of, I give this movie 2.5 pools of blood.