Saturday, March 17, 2012

Silent House

Today I saw Silent House, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Eric Sheffer Stevens.

I've decided that from now on I'll see anything starring Elizabeth Olsen. She's just that good.

Sarah (Olsen) and her father John (Adam Trese) are getting ready to sell the family lake house. They have returned to the apparent small town to pack up their things and fix the place up.

Sophia (Julia Taylor Ross) is Sarah's long-forgotten childhood friend, ecstatic to learn she's back in town. Uncle Peter (Stevens) is also around, and you get the sense there's a bit of sibling rivalry between him and John.

Everything here happens in real time, and the film is shot in such a way that you feel like an uninvited voyeur. That's not a bad thing considering the tension it subconsciously builds.

There doesn't seem to be any electricity in the home, so everyone carries camping lamps to light the rooms as they pack. The pair is supposed to have been there for a few days when we join them, but some of the rooms look as if they haven't been touched in years.

At night, Sarah grows scared of noises she hears upstairs so she sends her dad to investigate. When he doesn't come back, and a large crash is heard, Sarah knows she's in trouble.

For another hour, we're holding our breath right along with her as she hides from, escapes, follows and runs into what/who is terrorizing her. In classic horror storytelling fashion, we feel a sense of false peace more than once when we think she's overcome the evil, but there's always another surprise or twist around the corner.

I really liked this film, and more importantly loved the amazing performance by Olsen.

Seeing her for the first time in last year's Martha Marcy May Marlene, I knew she could shine in a drama; now I know she's also mastered all of the emotions necessary for a convincing horror piece.

Go see this—but do better than me, and take someone to hold onto.


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