Elle Driver, Tazora Films,
Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens, Julia Taylor Ross, Adam Barnett, Haley Murphy
Based on the foreign film from Uruaguay, 2010′s “La casa muda (The Silent House) this Hollywood remake follows the story fairly faithfully of a young woman, Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) and her father and her uncle, who are out at a remote lake house cleaning it up and getting it ready for sale. The house has no light, so it’s very dark. A Sarah begins hearing strange sounds, she tries to find the location and cause of the sounds. It leads her further and further into the mystery of the house, and the awful things that happened to her, and how she’s dealing with them. This is a horrific film of many evils, including murder, rape, and incest that takes us deep into the evils of the family. Filmed, like it’s Uruguayan counterpart, to appear to be done in a single take, this provides us with the entire story in a single location, from a single point of view. There’s a lot of evil going on here!
It is hard to compare this Hollywood remake with the original film. This remake is really more about the character of Sarah and what she’s seeing and feeling inside herself. This version pretties up the location a bit and spends more fixing up the house itself and the location. Still, this film has a very creepy look to it, and it has a few frightening moments. The story is changed a bit in this newer version, but not to any great benefit and so it doesn’t matter much. I think I would give a little bit of an edge to the original, but not very much. This one is almost as good, and certainly Elizabeth Olsen is a lovely lady!! (Yes..yes…she is the little sister of Mary Kate and Ashley. Someone’s got to keep up with the show business business) Both films are just not that great. The single camera shot bit is a scam. They claim to use it here as well, but it’s more obvious here that it isn’t really done in one take. Therefore there is no real big advantage to the film to use it, as it really doesn’t serve a purpose other than as a gimmick. As it turns out, it just robs us of a lot of things that could have been done to improve the story, and since it’s so dark, it provides us with a lot of black film with no light of any kind, just like the original. I suppose sitting in a pitch dark theater with a bunch of strangers could be a bit creepy, but on video it mostly gets annoying. There is very little dialog in the whole film, so mostly we spend the 80 minutes watching Laura walk around with a lantern, looking for whatever is causing the creepy sounds. In this respect, it’s exactly like the original. There’s a few jumps and bumps, but mostly it’s a character drama looking at Laura’s own issues. This is perhaps a bit less graphic than the original, but though the subject is graphic, the visual is not all that bad. And since we never get close to her or any of the other characters, we don’t really care much what happens to her0.
As I said in the previous review of the 2010 original film, this is just an average scary movie. Whether you watch the original, or the remake, they’re about the same, and neither is all that special.
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