This is an American remake of a Uruguayan Film, La Casa Muda. It should be noted that, even though I give it a lukewarm review, Silent House piqued my interest enough for me to put the original on my ‘to be watched’ list.
Sarah is an out of school/out of work young person who, for lack of anything better to do, is assisting her father and uncle in the renovation of her family’s Victorian house. This situation is hardly ideal; the house has black mold, her father is condescending, and her uncle is flirting with her. Sarah’s primary job is to clear out the closets full of family memorabilia, and stay out of the way. One evening, as night is closing in, her uncle leaves for town. Sarah hears a commotion in another room, and finds her father has gone missing. As one might imagine, things go downhill from there, and Sarah must face off against mysterious intruders.
I am on the fence about this movie because I loved the first half, but was disappointed by the second half. In the first half, Sarah must endure terrifying situations, and she does so flawlessly (well, in a way). She sobs, blubbers, and shrieks as much as anyone would in that situation, but for all her tears, Sarah shows herself to be amazingly competent, deftly avoiding peril. In the second half, we learn more of the family history, and what exactly is haunting the house. This all culminates in a big reveal, which doesn’t completely undermine Sarah’s competence in the first half of the film, but does so enough for me to feel let down.
Despite this, Silent House proves to be a thoroughly eerie movie. It was made to look as if it was shot in one continuous take, which adds to the scariness, making it feel like the viewer is a participant rather than watcher.