Sunday, March 11, 2012

'Silent House' Is A Little Too Silent

I don't know where to start...

"Silent House" is... well, was marketed as... a real-time chunk of horror involving ayoung woman, violent inturders, and what seemed to be someimpressively fast-paced, one-take moves by the director.

What the film boils down to is a dark house full of cliched horror actress and derivative, cheap jump scares.

The majority of the film turns out to be Elizabeth Olson (also a product of overhype) either running like she just downed her eighth Heineken or quiletly crying. The latter of these at least got amusing when it seemed like her only way to survive this ordeal was to make rat faces.

Let's start the breakdown with the gimmick that got everyone in a tizzy: the promise of carefully orchestrated horror stunts, all done in one take and in real-time. This may be true, but is far from impressive in the film itself.

Yes, it is one take, but when you factor in the IMMENSE amount of time spent sitting, creeping or just killing time in a room, it's pretty noticable how they pull it all off. It would be more entertainging for Olsen to make a rat face and hold up a "buffering" sign.

(Possible Spoilers! But you shouldn't see this film, so....)

The storyline itself is just fragments of other bad movies. Olsen plays a young woman who goes to a family home with her father and uncle to rennovate and hopefully sell. Once things turn sour, the audience becomes aware to soon just how cheap the film will get.

It starts with Olsen's father and uncle suspiciously finding and hiding photos without showing them to her. Which starts the insanity; if your family kept hiding pictures that are strewn about the house, wouldn't you have a WTF moment?

Of course, a faceless person starts terrorizing Olsen, which leads her on a slow, dull ascent to the top floor of the house where she has a cathartic experience, part of which is her using a polaroid camera in the dark.

NOTE TO FUTURE DAMSELS IN DISTRESS: A Polaroid camera is incredibly loud, and the flash is all but useless for more than two seconds. When hiding from a possible killer, try not to give away your position but using a fashing noisemaker.

Now, a quick disclaimer: I'm very passionate about movies, their message, and underlying meaning. It gets me into troble with people who don't take them as seriously, but I'm the one writing here, so deal with it...

The ending turns into a "Fight Club" scenario, where apparently an Olsen is able to brutally attack grown men and drag them all over a house in less than an hour. Cute. An maybe plausible. But my problem came from the deeper motivation: Olsen attackeed her father and uncle due to her father raping her as a child.

I am able to stomach a large amount of things, being a horror fan. But what I don't stomach is how condescending this motivation is towards women (see my "Sucker Punch" review).

Rape of any kind is a traumatic experience and should be handled in a delicate manner, but saying that being raped turns you into a super human psycho is not only illogical, it's insulting. I'd assume that if a young girl was treated in such a way, she wouldn't forget and certainly wouldn't be ok with going to a house alone with the culprit.

Overall, Silent House is slow, dull and accidentally entertaining before turning confusing, illogical and insulting rregarding a serious issue.

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