Saturday, March 10, 2012
Elizabeth Olsen stars in Silent House as Sarah, a young woman who is helping her father and uncle prepare to sell the family's summer lake house. The power is out, the windows are boarded up, and vandals have had their way with the house. And did I mention there's no cell phone reception? In the film's first of many creepy moments, Sarah receives a visit from Sophia, a young woman who claims to have been Sarah's playmate when they were kids. Sarah doesn't remember her. Soon after, Sarah hears a noise upstairs, and she and her dad go to investigate. They don't find anything, and her fears momentarily allayed, Sarah is left alone in her room to pack up her belongings. She hears more noises, and her dad doesn't respond when she calls out to him. From that point on, the movie follows Sarah as she tries to flee from whoever or whatever is pursuing her - which is not really clear until the very end of the movie, and makes the pursuit all the more creepy.
Elizabeth Olsen is a really talented young actress. She is the only one on camera throughout most of the movie, and she performed well throughout. We'd seen her in Martha Marcy May Marlene last year, in which she stars as a troubled young woman escaping from a cult. My husband pointed out the ending of Silent House could have been the beginning of Martha - if you've seen both, you'll know what I mean.
I thought Silent House was going to be a good old-fashioned slasher flick, but it was actually much more ambitious than that. It was sufficiently creepy throughout, and the plot twists were revealed effectively. It wasn't perfect and I was left wanting to know more about Sarah's character, but it was a clever, well-done, scary movie.
Lastly, a shout-out to the ladies sitting behind us in the theater yesterday, who felt it necessary to inject their commentary throughout the WHOLE.ENTIRE.MOVIE. Their commentary was not once insightful. For example, at one point, Sarah's uncle calls out to her father: "John." The ladies behind us: "What'd he say? John??? Don????" Or, when the uncle was shown onscreen - Lady #1: "He's suspect." Lady #2: "Mmm hmmmmm." Honestly, at first I was annoyed but by about the 2/3 mark I began to enjoy their incessant chattering and statements of the obvious. At the end of the movie? "That's bullshit. I want a refund and I didn't even pay for my ticket."
Apparently, Silent House is not for everyone, but it still gets a solid 7 out of 10 from me.