Movie of the Day – The Silent House
October 9, 2012 4 Comments
A horror suspense film that spans 88 minutes and is done in one continuous take. If that doesn’t get you the least bit curious then I don’t know what will. Now I want people to realize that this is for the Uruguayan original movie, not for the recent remake with Elizabeth Olsen entitled “Silent House”. Hollywood is so creative these days. While the remake is interesting in it’s own right, I definitely want to touch on the original movie since I got a hold of a copy of this movie and well, I was incredibly drawn into the movie and premise that is supposedly based on real events in a small village. I am not certain if that is true or not, but I was more impressed by witnessing a continuous, one take horror movie.
Laura and her father Wilson settle down in an old farmhouse to make some repairs and update it prior to its sale. But after they spend the night there, things start to get strange. Laura hears a sound that gets louder and louder on the upper floor of the house. Wilson goes up to see what is going on while she remains downstairs, waiting for her father’s return. (source)
The premise alone was enough to send me scurrying about trying to get a hold of this movie. While I am not the biggest horror movie fan, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see this movie. Now I enjoy the long take in movies, as it is an excellent demonstration of cinematography and skill required to piece together so many movie parts in one coherent shot. The feat of this movie is monstrous, given that the suspense and constant, heightened fear has to be maintained throughout the movie. So having a movie like this keep the tension tight while delivering a a quiet chiller is incredible.
The Silent House does have a few shortcomings, mainly with the lack of craziness that usually comes with horror movies. The reliance on one setting and having to maneuver around the house without breaking the stride of the single shot means that overly elaborate scares and set pieces are kept minimal. But the chilly atmosphere and the setup of the house keep the mood and tension very tight, leading to some unnerving scenes of quiet searching, unaware of what may lie for the heroine of the movie. It’s this sort of set up that makes up for the shortcomings of the movie and it the uninterrupted movie keeps you continuously looking at the screen, not wanting to miss a single thing.
Comparatively to the remake, this original far exceeds the Hollywood attempt. The entire setting is prime for the spook house exploration and the dark, gray scale coloring piles on the moody setting for this movie. The long, uncut single take of the movie allows the audience to be drawn further into the story and scene, opting for the right sort of scares that chew away at your nerves. I think the single take works incredibly well, while gimmicky in nature, but it never lets that style become overbearing as it uses it to enhance the feeling of uneasiness and razor tension. Definitely worth the view if you can track down the original.