Silent House: dark and confusing

"Silent House" is more of a thriller rather than a horror movie. It has a slightly confusing plot- and a twist at the end.
"Silent House" is more of a thriller rather than a horror movie. It has a slightly confusing plot- and a twist at the end.

A woman is trapped in her family’s supposedly haunted lake house (hence the title, Silent House) with no one there to protect her. The windows are boarded shut, and the doors are all locked. There’s no one around the house for miles, and she can’t escape. Worst of all– there’s someone with her in the house. Or so it seems.

Sounds like an interesting movie plot, right? I walked into the movie expecting to be horribly scared walking out. When I left, I felt disturbed and confused.

This movie is shot documentary-style, to seem like it was one continuous shot. In reality, the movie was shot in ten-minute intervals and edited to seem like there were no cuts. It was a good illusion because I was impressed thinking that these actors were acting for 85 minutes straight.

Elizabeth Olsen plays a young woman named Sarah (the main character), who is confused and afraid throughout the whole movie. Olsen does a great job of convincing the audience of her absolute terror when she realizes she is alone and trapped.

The house is quiet and seemingly pitch dark, even when it’s the middle of the day. Sarah has to use flashlights throughout the movie whenever she’s in the house, because the electricity doesn’t work and the windows are boarded shut. This adds to the eerie feeling within the house.

Basically, this movie is an hour of Olsen running around this house, in the dark, with scary figures showing up every once in awhile. She hears all kinds of noises that send her into a panic: creaking, crashes, thumps, footsteps, etc. Towards the end of the movie, the plot turns from a horror movie to a twisted story about abuse. She discovers things about her childhood and has disturbing flashbacks.

These figures she is running from become symbols of her past and her experience with abuse. She is forced to face reality.

This is where the movie got confusing for me– I couldn’t tell what was actually happening, and what wasn’t real. The characters aren’t very well developed, and we don’t know much about them except for the fact that they are working on this house and something significant happened in the past.

The movie was rated R because of the heavy content. Instead of leaving you scared, the movie leaves you with a heavy, disturbed feeling., because of the references to abuse. It’s not for younger audiences.

In the end, Silent House leaves you wanting to know more. It leaves you wanting to know more both about the characters and the storyline. I recommend seeing this if you want to be thrilled, rather than scared.


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