SILENT HOUSE Add To My Top 10
Disgusting, Depressing Twist
Release Date: March 09, 2012
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 85 minutes
Distributor: Open Road Films
Writer: Laura Lau
Address Comments To:Tom Ortenberg, CEO, Open Road Films
12301 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: (310) 571-2200; Fax: (310) 571-2278
The movie opens with Sarah helping her father and uncle fix up the family summer lake house to sell it. The summer home has been suffering from vandals when the family is not there.
Sarah has a mysterious encounter with a childhood friend from the area, whom she hasn’t seen in years. Shortly after that, her uncle drives to town to get some supplies. Then, a mysterious invader attacks her father, who disappears. The camera follows Sarah has she tries to evade the stalker, who may have an accomplice. It also follows her as she searches for her father.
Eventually, Sarah finds her father, who’s been wounded in the head and knocked unconscious and rather delirious. She escapes to get help, but runs into her uncle driving back from his short trip.
Sarah pleads with her uncle not to return to the house, but he wants to go back to help his brother, her father. Now, the stalker is menacing both Sarah and her uncle. An unpredictable twist shows something else is going on entirely.
MOVIEGUIDE® has no objection to inserting a twist into a scary story. However, the twist here is so disgusting that it turns what was an intense, perhaps even positive, thriller into a very disturbing tale. Also, the twist leads to an ending where none of the three family members survives fully intact. Thus, SILENT HOUSE ultimately becomes disturbingly anti-family and loses the positive vibes it was building in the first two acts. The disgusting ending makes SILENT HOUSE another abhorrent horror thriller, just like far too many of its contemporary movies. The filmmakers are clearly trying to make a statement about a serious subject, but their resolution of the plot problem is extremely depressing as well as offensive.
Given the movie’s ending, it’s noteworthy that the original movie from Uruguay on which this movie is based is itself based on a sad, depressing story about three family members found dead in a house, the victims of an apparent murder/suicide. The problem is, the filmmakers behind SILENT HOUSE seem to just exploit this awful story rather than provide any real enlightenment, even though they seem to say the opposite of this in the movie’s production notes.
SILENT HOUSE is filmed in only one shot, which is impressive. It has an unpredictable twist at the end, which shows something else is going on entirely. However, the twist is so disgusting that it turns what was an intense, perhaps even positive, thriller into a very disturbing tale. Also, the twist leads to an ending where none of the three family members survives fully intact. The disgusting ending makes SILENT HOUSE just another abhorrent, depressing horrorshow.