Film Review: Silent House
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2/5If you’ve heard anything about it at all, you probably won’t be expecting much from indie horror flick and Sundance alumnus Silent House. The film is centred on Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley and much-lauded star of last year’s Martha Marcy May Marlene. That film scored rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. It was nominated for award after award, and won a respectable amount of them. It is fairly safe to say that Olsen’s latest offering will not enjoy the same success. The premise is that of a thousand horror films that have come before, the vast majority of which have been done better: vulnerable girl gets terrorised by unknown forces in remotely located, barely visited, crumbling old house. Eventually she manages to break out and run off down the road, before inexplicably ending up back inside the house again, where things quickly get worse. Silent House reminds me of 2008’s The Strangers, without the scares. It really, really wants to be a tense, psychologically-driven slow-burner. It definitely tries – it’s all blacked-out windows, less than subtle bumps from upstairs and trembling close-ups of Olsen’s face. Attempts at a Blair Witch-style shaky camera affect fall flat, mainly because Olsen’s Sarah spends the entire time running around in circles, terrifying herself because the floorboards are creaking and she’s scared of her dad (more of that later).
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