Silent House movie full length review - Painfully Slow with Gratuitous Breasts
I really wanted to like this movie, but I just couldn't. The majority of the movie had Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) as the only one on screen and as alluring as she is, this just didn't work for me.
Also, the visual and auditory aspects left much to be desired. The best parts of the film were the first few minutes and the last 15 or minutes or so. These were the only times when there was any real interaction between characters and any plot at all.
The plot and action were lacking.. The movie largely consisted of Sarah running around the house, gasping, screaming, and crying. This got old and annoying very fast. The were at least 3 or 4 times that I seriously considered stopping the movie for good. The only reason I stuck with it was because I believed that there MUST be a point to all of it. The point finally came at the end of the movie. While I did enjoy what for me was a plot twist, it didn't make up for what had preceded it. There was also a gratuitous display of Elizabeth Olsen's breasts throughout the film. I understand that's what guys want to see, but really, come on! They could have left a lot more to the imagination; she really didn't need to be parading around in a thin-as-paper white undershirt and ill-supporting bra. Plus, many of the camera angles prominently displayed her breasts from below and above. I would say that there were three stars of the movie - Olsen and the two girls. If that were me I would be royally insulted and disgusted by their display. It was distracting to say the least.
Now, about the plot twist. I think at the time I was so relieved to have action - any action - that I wasn't too picky about it. Now, after a bit of reflection, I can say that it was decent, but could have been better. We can surmise that most of the conflict involving the multiple male strangers in the home was all in her mind. Looking back, it was a bit too convenient that the men never actually found her or harmed her, despite all of the near-misses and hiding in plain sight. I can see now that there were clues, like the "holes in her mind," the hastily gathered Polaroids and the locked tin. Still, there is room for improvement. It would have helped to have some character development on Sarah and her father so we may have had an idea of their personalities and motivations and could have been more connected with the characters. Perhaps Sophia could have mentioned something a little more specific to justify her triggering Sarah's memory. In addition, if most everything had occurred in Sarah's mind, why did the players change? We saw several different legs and shoes and then other shadowy figures appeared, more monstrous and otherworldly than the originals. Perhaps these changes are physical depictions of the chaos in Sarah's mind. Also, are we to believe that a slender girl who was unable break open the barricaded windows alone managed to overpower her father and uncle and drag them around the house? I know adrenaline counts for a lot but this is still rather hard to swallow for me.
Finally, about the movies visual and auditory aspects. I don't know anything about cinematography or film as art so I can only speak from a layman's perspective, but I didn't care for the choppiness and grittiness of this approach - from what I gathered from other reviews, an attempt as a single-camera approach. I got dizzy from the jumpiness and the resolution on an HDTV was very poor - so much so, that I asked my husband if something was wrong. I don't know the adjectives to use to describe the problems with the picture but it was almost as if the pixels had been stretched too far or the lighting was off. At times I couldn't even see exactly what was on the screen, and this was extremely distracting. If this type of product was the filmmaker's intent, I wish it could have been accomplished in such a way as to preserve the visual integrity of the film and make it easier for the viewer to watch. The audio was also somewhat distorted and hard to discern. Thank goodness for subtitles because I would have missed some of the scant dialogue and some of the noises as well. I had to turn the volume way up just to catch part of the exchange between Sarah and her uncle in the middle of the film. I'm not sure if the auditory distortions went hand in hand with the visual ones, but this was also distracting and detracting.
For me, the best movies are ones you want to see again, whether comedy, drama, or thriller. Although part of me wants to go back and make a list of all of the signs and clues that in hindsight are leading the viewer to the moment of realization, I couldn't do it. I can't sit through minutes and minutes of running, hiding, breathing, crying, and numerous close-up shots of Olsen's face and breasts. It's not worth it. The only reason I gave the movie 4 / 10 was the plot twist, because I do love a good twist.