Elizabeth Olsen really made a splash at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, between her starring turns in the (now, critically-acclaimed) Martha Marcy May Marlene – and Silent House, a psychological horror flick based on writer/director Gustavo Hernández’ 2010 film The Silent House, now helmed by Open Water directing/producing duo Chris Kentis and Laura Lau.
While a trailer has been released for Silent House, it can only allude to one of the film’s most unusual qualities: that it was shot and edited to create the illusion that all the onscreen madness takes place in real-time – and thus, unfolds over the course of a single, uninterrupted take.
Silent House revolves around a young woman named Sarah (Olsen) who is visiting her family’s dilapidated lake house along with her father, when they inexplicably find themselves under attack by mysterious figures who have somehow managed to seal up the building, with the unsuspecting father-daughter pair inside. With no electricity and no means to contact the outside world, an increasingly terrified and battered Sarah attempts to escape, even as she descends into an increasingly-unhinged state of mind.
Check out the trailer for Silent House below:
The idea of creating suspense in a film by structuring it to appear as though it was completed in a single take is nothing new (director Alfred Hitchcock did it with Rope, all the way back in 1948) but properly managing that task still requires an undeniable amount of effort and careful filmmaking technique, even in the digital age. Based on the early Silent House footage, it looks like Kentis and Lau were wise to utilize this approach, seeing how it looks to really pull viewers into Sarah’s world and force them to see things from her increasingly psychologically-frazzled perspective.
Silent House won’t provide Olsen the opportunity to deliver another nuanced and complex portrayal of a damaged individual (a la Martha); both this title and Open Water are largely visceral thrillers that rely primarily on their stars’ ability to convincingly play people who are trapped in a dangerous environment (with little to no hope of escape).
Still, Olsen seemingly does a really good job of… well, believably appearing scared out of her wits in Silent House. Combine that with film’s “single-take” design and this could be one of the better, semi-experimental horror flicks produced in a while.
Silent House will be released in U.S. theaters on March 9th, 2012.
Source: Yahoo! Movies
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