director Gustavo Hernández
By simply being a Uruguayan horror/thriller might have been unique enough to have made La Casa Muda (The Silent House) notable. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen another Uruguayan film. But the film has more uniqueness to offer, as it is filmed in (or at least the illusion of) a single take and has been touted as the first horror film to be conceived and shot that way. And enough of this uniqueness (and potential quality) earned an American re-make, which got decent reviews, Silent House (2011).
The low-budget flick follows a teenage girl and her father as they tromp out to an isolated house in the countryside, a house that’s been boarded up for years and is now going to be sold. Their job is to clean the place up, do the landscaping, get it ready for sale. But not long after being dropped off there, strange things start happening. Are there people harassing the caretakers? Or ghosts? Or what?
The single shot conceit works in a lot of parts of the film, an improvement say over the “faux found footage” low-budget stylings that have become so overused in horror films. But actually the film has a lot of logic holes. Little things nagged at me initially, like when the father is first attacked upstairs that the daughter, actress Florencia Colucci, doesn’t run up to see if he’s okay. She actually does a lot of questionable things from a straight logic perspective. But there are twists at the end that sort of make some of these things make more sense in retrospect. However the twists also suggest even bigger plot holes than the earlier ones. I won’t elaborate to ruin it for you. I’m just saying that a lot of the film doesn’t make that much sense when you have the whole of the story to deal with.
Colucci isn’t particularly strong. Her simpering gets a little on one’s nerves rather quickly.
The more I think about it the more I think the whole thing pretty silly. I enjoyed it a bit more in the moment. I’m curious enough to see the American re-make since it got decent reviews. I am willing to sit through any amount of variable quality horror or science fiction. I don’t know if that is a good thing or not.