Media

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2012

ARTICLE INDEX

 "Silent House" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

movie-august-2012-silent-house

Synopsis

Sarah, along with her father and uncle arrive at their vacation home with the intent of preparing it for sale.  After vandals have broken all the windows, the house has no light and no power.  Within minutes they are trapped in the house and Sarah is alone and hearing noises.  After several heart-stopping moments, she finds her father injured apparently by an intruder.  She retreats to the basement, narrowly escaping her attacker.  When her uncle reappears, things take an unexpected turn and Elizabeth learns something she wasn’t prepared for.

Specifications

  • Universal
  • 2012, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 26 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring:  Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens
  • Directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras: 
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

This film uses a single unbroken shot to tell its story, which is pretty thin.  There are no camera changes or scene transitions.  The whole thing lasts about an hour and twenty minutes which is more than enough since there really isn’t a plot.  Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister of Mary Kate and Ashley, does a passable job of being scared out of her wits.  Aside from brief appearances by her father, uncle, and a mysterious childhood friend she can’t seem to remember, she has to carry the movie by herself.  I suspect she’s a better actress than this movie portrays.  The filming technique is neat but I found the handheld work a bit nauseating at times.  I’d say this disc is worth a rental if you’re in the mood for a boo-fest but I can’t imagine watching it more than once.

Technical

The image is rather dull with muted color and poor black levels.  Several of the darker shots were hazy and gray with little detail and a lot of film grain.  It was hard to judge overall detail as camera focus was all over the place.  Often a person in the background would be speaking but the focus was on the foreground.  I’m sure it was intended to give the feel of amateur video and in that, it succeeded.  Judged as a transfer, I suspect this Blu-ray is true to the original material.

Sound was sparse in every respect.  Ambient effects, which are so important in a film like this, were few and far between.  There was no real sound stage and the surrounds weren’t used at all.  Music was also barely present with just the occasional string tremolo to provide suspense.

Extras

The only bonus feature is audio commentary from the two directors.  Also included is a DVD version and an UltraViolet digital copy.