Project DeadPost

The Silent House (La casa muda) (2010)

Real Fear In Real Time

Directed by Gustavo Hernández and starring Florencia Colucci as Laura, Gustavo Alonso as Wilson, Abel Tripaldi as Néstor and María Salazar as Niña.

OK I guess I must mention it as I’ve used the tagline as a title to this review, so I’ll mention it now. It wasn’t filmed in one continuous take but edited to make it look that way. There. I really hate trivial melodrama like that but it seems to be a bugbear of people who’ve reviewed this. Personally I think the minuscule budget, this film was made for an estimated $6,000 (not sure how accurate that is but it’s cheap), is far more interesting a fact and the very reason I want to review this. I have seen it once before. It’s a Uruguayan film, Spanish language, and there is a remake, Silent House ’11, which I haven’t seen yet; it is in the post and I will review it at a later time.

(Crack open a Budski!) So, Laura and her father (Wilson) arrive at a house in the countryside, they are going to tidy the place up as the owner (Néstor) is planning on selling. Laura hears some banging coming from upstairs and wakes her father who is asleep in a chair. Her father goes upstairs to investigate and she hears him cry out.

Now, a fair slice of this film is Laura, scared to death, in a dark, run-down house carrying a lamp (later a torch), and a sickle, her ‘real-time’ experience there. There’s a lot of tension as she explores the house, made me jump a fair few times; it’s pretty scary stuff. The soundtrack really adds to the atmosphere too. There’s a brilliant scene where she runs out of the house; I don’t want to say too much but I thought it was a stand-out scene. There’s also a scene which I won’t spoil by going into it at all but it scared the living Jesus out of me! Genius.

OK, there’s a twist. And what you make of that twist is probably the biggest controversy of the film, I’ve also read a bit about plot holes; plot holes interest me about as much as trivial melodrama so I didn’t give a flying ferret’s testicle but you may feel otherwise. I agree with one reviewer who said it’s better the second time you watch it and know the twist; I’m not sure why that is exactly.

Anyway, I highly recommend and I’m greatly looking forward to the remake although it’s hard to see how they could improve on (the only valid reason for any remake surely) this brilliant little film.

I love it.

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