Friday, April 22, 2011

The Silent House (2010)

First of all, I’ve seen a lot of references to The Silent House being a found footage-movie. This is not the case, it’s a ghost movie with the concept of the one take-illusion, but it’s as far away from the typical handheld documentary footage some people claim it to be. This is a pure, complete cinematic experience from the first frame to the last and it is more or less excellent. The only complains I have, and I know I rarely complain, is that it gets a bit too generic when it comes to the many ghost house clichés it delivers during its short running time. There are creepy girl ghosts, freaky Polaroid photos, bumps in the night, complete darkness with photo flashes used as light, something or something gliding by the camera in the foreground (a speciality that only John Carpenter made work, in – among others – The Thing) and so on. But what the f**k.

Laura (Florencia Colucci) and her father Wilson (Gustavo Alonso) goes out the countryside to help her fathers friend Nestor (Abel Tripaldi) taking care of his house for a couple of days, moving the lawn, fixing the garden before the people who bought it arrives. They’re gonna start early in the morning and arrives late at in the evening to able to start working early. Nestor tells them to not go up on the second floors, the floor and roof aren’t safe there… It won’t take long until Laura hears a terrible noise from the upper floor, and loud banging on the walls. Her father tells her to stay put while he goes up to check what the hell is going on… and he does not come down again…

The Silent House is such a beautiful movie! Shot with a Canon 5D Mark II digital camera, basically a still camera, but with amazing camera work. This is helps the movie because the cameraman can easily follow the actors around the house, even in the smallest spaces. Compared to another horror movie in one single take (which is true in the correct meaning with that one), “Cut”, this movie truly looks like a real movie in every sense of the word. Every angle, every movement are like from a normal movie, but everything hangs together in one piece. The technical part of the movie is simply stunning.

But the true magic of The Silent House is the script. It’s not overly complicated, but what makes it stand out from the rest is the lack of dialogue. Sure, they talk – but just the most necessary. There are no long talky scenes to fill out the story and explain the meaning of everything. The story is told almost in it’s entity by acting and camera work, not talking. This means hard work for Florencia Colucci who is in most of the shots of the movie, going from a normal shy young woman to afraid like never before.

Sure, what the movie could have used was more original ideas. But I also guess that talking on such an experiment maybe leaves out a too complicated and innovative script. It’s a pity, but the movie is still so good that it really does not matter in the end. This is one helluva horror movie, and I really hope that director Gustavo Hernández continues with the same quality and not being sucked up in the studio system (which means first a remake of a European movie, then a bigger original movie that flops and then back to DTV flicks with less or no marketing at all).

See it. Now.


Jocke Andersson said...

Yes, I will! :)

Eric Cotenas said...

I hope I get a chance to see the original in the states, but it is already getting an American remake.

vaultkeeper said...

Argentina? Its from Uruguay actually, which makes it even more intresting as its the first horror movie from that country.

Ninja Dixon said...

Dam it. I've changed it now.