Silent House was a surprise. Like Russian Ark, it's only ostensible predecessor, the film is comprised of only one shot, however I would question this notion two or three times throughout the film and the directors seem to indicate that it was multiple shots. Regardless, I found the "gimmick" to work very well for this particular film. It added a bizarre strangeness that the normal edit does not provide and consequently you get sucked into the horror. Personally, I found the cinematography to be sublimely done as well. There were multiple sequences and shots where I was left scratching my head asking, "how did they pull that off?"
Elizabeth Olsen is beautiful and quite the paragon of a scream queen. There were a few moments that I was slightly dubious towards her performance but given that she is new to acting and this film being a daunting acting challenge, I would say she did superbly. Like Martha Marcy May Marlene she was natural and understated but altogether captivating. The two male actors, on the other hand, were uneven. In moments they were believable and in others it felt like I was watching a high school student film - this could be the actors or the direction. This took me out of the dramatic tension a couple of times but not enough to ruin the film.
Is this a horror film? Not the usual kind, it more lies in the suspense genre, like Hitchcock's Rope. Silent House is a very dark tale indeed and by dark I mean all three meanings of the word. Most of the movie literally takes place in the dark, it contains a hidden mystery and the end is as unpleasant and dreadful as it could be.
I'm startled (kinda) by the films I'm enjoying this year so far. All the cinema I have lauded the most have been found footage or gimmicky indie titles. Is a new generation of youthful filmmaking finally making it's way into our collective consciousness as permissible entertainment of value? I don't mean to imply that only young people are making these films, they just seem to have an air of adolescence coming into florescence. I had in principle dismissed found footage films and shaky cam atrocities right from the moment they became numerous and unspeakably annoying to sit through, but the interesting stories and inventive camera techniques are truly winning me over. I am excited to see what may be brewing on the horizon.
Recommended Viewing: Martha Marcy May Marlene - Rope - Evil Dead
Bob Scale: Objective: 7.5 - Subjective: 8.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 49