Some chick (Florencia Colucci) and her pops (Gustavo Alonso) head to a remote house to clean it up so it can go up for sale. But before you can spell “blow me”; shit goes slash and our chickadee has to survive the evil that lurks within that money pit.
I knew jack-all about the Uruguayan (shot in Spanish) THE SILENT HOUSE (or La Casa Muda for the purists) before I popped it in my PS3. I hadn’t even seen the trailer. It’s only after I clocked it and did some research that I found out that it was a big deal at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and that the US has already shot a remake of it (talk about a quick turn around),
which is directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau (Open Water) . Usually I'd bitch and moan about a remake, it’s just what I do, one of my hobbies, they're played out. But in this case, am all for it, hopefully they hired some script doctors to mop that sucker up before re-doing it, cause it needed it!
Directed by Gustavo Hernández and shot by Pedro Luque, THE SILENT HOUSE did pretty much everything right on a technical standpoint. Hernández pulled a Hitchcock's ROPE telling his story in one continuous and hand-held take.
That added to the tension, the reality and oppressive feel of the story, hence resulting in my cubes being put in a vice grip begging for freedom to bounce wildly in the wind. Moreover Hernández had some nifty camera tricks up his sleeves; I dug his shot compositions (them shots having to do with mirrors owned me) and the visual ploys he put out
had some weight to them (death from the dying's POV is a good example). On his end DOP Luque maximized the already creepy setting, doing wondrous things with the darkness at hand. There was
also kind of first person video game vibe to the thing and it did right by me. Felt like I was playing one of them early Resident Evil video games at times.
And big kudos to lead dame Florencia Colucci for her credible and intense performance. She was the glue that kept me watching even when the movie would falter. Add to that an easy pace, a moody piano inclined score, stand-out sound design and a couple of fear tactics (Polaroid), although
déjà vu to some degree (Shutter), that still gave me the willies and you get a keeper right? Almost. This was one of them films that I had to sit on for a day before fully making up my mind as to how I felt about it, which is a good sign in itself,
movies that simply suck knob are usually easy to judge and discard. So after much
thought and a night of debauchery at a strip club that saw my monthly pay check go
bye-bye by way of lap dances that should've been free, cause paying to get cock teased is just stupid... here's why this mofo pissed on
my Macho Pride parade.
THE SCRIPT! When doing a “peep trapped in one location” movie; it’s always tricky to find a way to KEEP THEM IN THERE without vomiting on logic. And for the first hour this flick didn’t even try. It had its lead chica acting like a clueless moron which prompted frustration from yours truly. I can't count how many times this crossed my mind: “Honey, why you investigating everything when you should be RUNNING OUT OF THERE????!!!!” I don't know about yall, but someone/something wants to kill me in a creepy house, I'm looking over my shoulder every 3 seconds, while trying to get the hell out of dodge! Not this broad, one second she's attacked, the next she's taking the scenic route, checking out the books in the library with
a flashlight, making lots of noise, la-di-da…it's all good... wha????
To add insult to insult; the movie pulled a fast one come the last act (one that we've seen before, worked in some films, didn't work here). Although it carried some punch and was fairly disturbing; it completely blemished everything that had gone down beforehand, hence giving me the middle finger up
treatment. Was it trying to sweep its mistakes under the dead hooker with that move?
Yes? No? Either way, I didn't buy it. So as the end credits rolled... my jaw was resting on my crotch, conflicted as to my stance on the picture being that I dug lots of it. Obviously if ya go by this crap I'm vomiting right now, I figured out where I stand now…
THE SILENT HOUSE could've been great, instead of solely passable. Good acting, chilling atmosphere, potent scares, loved the one take jive and there was mucho talent behind the camera. But the script should be put in jail for two counts: 1- For having its lead gal act like such a duhhhhh dunce. 2- For trying to cover that up with its last block and just creating NEW defects in the process. I hope that its US remake corrects what went wrong here....alas...from
what I read...it didn't...lets remake the remake then!
We get some blood, cuts and some implied kills that were brought home with suggestion, splats and potent sound design.
It's funny, because sometimes it’s by writing this garbage that I actually discover how I feel about a movie. This was one of them times. THE SILENT HOUSE was one pair short of a full house. It held the frights, good acting and visually stimulating cards firmly but was missing the “lead that reacts in a logical manner” and “ an ending that betters the film not worsens it" cards. So on the whole, although entertaining and obviously created by peeps with skills; its script cheated me too many times for me to call it “genius” An "okay" watch for this jerk!