“The Silent House“, the new Indie Horror movie that opened this weekend in Pittsburgh Theaters, purports to be one long shot. One shot that lasts the 88 minute running time. One shot to enclose you in with the main character trapped inside a haunted house.
And so are we as an audience. The fun is in the technique, though unfortunately this single take wears thin long before the movie ends. Directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, the makers behind the shark-infested “Open Water”, trail the young lead with a high-def camera through doors slamming after her, flickering lights and terrifying psychological terror.
Elizabeth Olsen stars as a young girl traveling to an old summer home (owned by relatives) to clean it up and get it ready for sale. Little does she know that almost immediately upon entry is she going to regret ever entering this abode.
While there is something inventive in how the filmmakers have Olsen frequently carrying a lantern to reveal her path and light both the protagonist and the viewers way. But, it becomes hard to witness after laying on one too many coincidences after another, the story begins to unravel. Sometimes you don’t want to know what is lurking in the dark because the answer is just too obvious and all to easy to see.
Olsen is perfectly believable in her role. The star of the much better and more equally chilling “Martha Marcy May Marlene” indeed has a bright future ahead of her. However, the rickety structure that “The Silent House” is built upon not only caves in on the movie’s lead actress. It buries this talented directing duo trying to make their sophomore project better than a one shot effort.