Elizabeth Olsen once again proves her chops as an actress in her second starring role after last year’s "Martha Marcy May Marlene." This time she gives a tour de force performance in the remake of Spain’s "La Casa Muda" or, "Silent House." The set-up is simple: College student Sarah, along with her father and uncle, are closing up an old summer house hoping to sell the place when dad suddenly goes missing. Sarah spends the rest of the 86-minute running time creeping through the house (whose power has already been shut off) with a lantern and the knowledge that someone or something is in the house with her.
Seemingly told in one unbroken shot, the film is actually three or four long takes strung together to look as if they are unbroken. Regardless of the cheat, the fact that directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau were able to choreograph twenty-minute long takes, and Olsen can maintain that intensity without the help of clever editing, is astonishing.
Suspenseful and often scary, the film does get tripped up in the end with a bit of psychological warfare that makes you question everything you’ve seen. In fact, it’s worth it to watch a second time to see if you can actually figure it out. So while the movie itself ends on a head-scratching note, it’s such a technical marvel and Olsen is so good, it’s worth taking the time to check out.
The only Special Feature is the commentary by the directors which gives some insight into how the film was staged and what it all means.
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