Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Silent House (2010)

The Silent House • La casa muda (2010)
The Silent House • La casa muda (2010)

Genre: Horror
Director: Gustavo Hernández
Starring: Florencia Colucci, Abel Tripaldi, Gustavo Alonso, María Salazar
Language: Spanish
Duration: 86 min.
Rating: 5.8  

Laura and her father Wilson settle down in an old farmhouse to make some repairs and update it prior to its sale.  But during their night there, Laura hears sounds coming from the upper floor and things start to get strange.

The Silent House is a film directed by Gustavo Hernández, his first feature.  It premiered in the Director's Fortnight section of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.  It has been selected as Uruguay's submission to the 84th Academy Awards for Best Foriegn Language Film.

It's a micro budget production, shot on a Canon DSLR, for reportedly $6,000 in what they claim as a single long take.  The story follows a father and daughter who arrive at an old abandoned house in order to renovate it for sale.  They settle in and plan to spend the night before starting work in the morning.  However the daughter Laura begins to hear strange noises from the upper floor and urges her father Wilson to go check it out.  Thus begins a real time ordeal of terror and confusion for Laura.

As a film experiment it is an interesting watch, though I'm convinced this wasn't actually filmed as a single take because at several points the image goes pitch black, but the feeling of continuous cinematography makes for a unique perspective.  The way the camera moves about, as it follows Laura through the house is really effective and disorienting, the actor and camera operator sometimes inadvertently get in each others way but those instances are handled well and combined with the dark house location, makes for a creepy atmosphere.   

As a horror film though it fails, the actual story and action are full of uninspired cliches, jump scares, idiotic decisions, nursery music, contradictory plot twists, you name it and it's there.  All of which just undermine the cool technical aspects above.  Leaving us in the end with just an exercise of cheap tricks both on screen and off.  Including the often abused "based on real events" claim that marketing departments love to slap on posters.  At least it has brought some attention to the fledgling Uruguayan film industry. 

Bonjour Tristesse

The Silent House • La casa muda (2010)

The Silent House • La casa muda (2010)

The Silent House • La casa muda (2010)

The Silent House • La casa muda (2010)

The Silent House • La casa muda (2010)

The Silent House • La casa muda (2010)


FrontRoomCinema said...

I remember reading about this one before and being intrigued. I think I will still give it a go, even if I will be very scared!!

Shutter Bug said...

one single shot? I have to see it to believe it!

Will said...

Not a huge fan of this movie. I also had a feeling that this wasn't shot in only one take. Furthermore, the movie kinda dragged for so many minutes until I started to care less about the heroine.

d_4 said...

I'm attracted to the seemingly continuous shot. I think that'd be interesting. I'm not attracted at all to the lame generic "horror" side, though. Oh well.

Hoi-Ming Ng said...

"jump scares, idiotic decisions" oh my!

Beasts in Human Skin said...

It looks and sounds like a valiant attempt but no, I think I will pass on this one.

The Reel Foto said...

nope. nope. nope. NOPE.

The Angry Lurker said...

It sounds unique at least in it's camera work and very cheap!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Hopefully you will find more to like about it.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yeah I can't say I ever really cared for the fate of Laura.  Not that she was annoying, it was the poor direction.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

The real time feel does make for an interesting watch.  Just wish it turned out better in practice.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Perfect film for one of your rants.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Really could have used more violence boobies and pipe smoking

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