Redbox DOs and DON’Ts: Silent House

Kelsey Crouse

Silent House keeps viewers guessing through the end

What makes a horror movie scary? Does anyone really know? Could it be that some are unrealistic with boogiemen that haunt your mind and control your dreams? Or is it the stories that are made from supposed real life events and the fact that people are capable of real evil? The one factor that any quality scary movie has is the jump factor and the building suspense that makes you cling tight to whomever is siting next to you, to watch the movie between your fingers or cover your face with the blanket and peek out under the covers. That’s the main scare factor.

Chris Kentis and Laura Lau’s Silent House stars Elizabeth Olsen as Sarah, a young woman who has moved back into her childhood home with her dad (Adam Trese) and Uncle Peter (Eric Sheffer Stevens). They are planning to restore the house and put it up for sale. The house holds secrets from Sarah’s childhood; however, her dad and uncle seem to be hiding them from her. During different times in the movie there are Polaroid pictures spread out, then quickly gathered and hidden away before she can see the images they keep. Sarah starts hearing noises in the house. However, when she goes to investigate through the maze of stacked furniture and boxes, she finds no one, just the sound of hurried footsteps. Because the house is under repair, the windows are boarded and the electricity is out, leaving the house dark, lit only by the dim beams from oil-burning lamps and flashlights, where shadows enhance the frightfulness of what is hiding in the dark.  Silent House leaves you confused and guessing up until the end.

Another element that most people do not think about is the style of filming and how that adds to the effect that the movie has on the viewer. Kentis and Lau use a one-shot handheld style that brings the fear to a new level, much like The Blair Witch Project in 1999. It brings a reality to the story that leaves you to see the events through the eyes of the victims, putting you in fear along with the characters.

Silent House is disturbing and enticing, making you need to know the secret that the photographs hold and if they have any connection as to why this person is killing the only family she has until she is all that’s left. Silent House is another RedBox Do!