The Silent House

It seems fairly clear that The Silent House owes a great deal of its mild success to its central gimmick – the film has seemingly been shot in just one take – as the movie is otherwise, for the most part, lacking in attributes designed to wholeheartedly capture and sustain the viewer’s ongoing attention. The narrative, which follows Florencia Colucci’s Laura as she and her father (Gustavo Alonso’s Wilson) attempt to tidy up a ramshackle house, unfolds at a snail’s pace that’s exacerbated by Oscar Estévez’s almost comically uneventful script, as the majority of the movie’s first half is devoted to Laura’s continuing efforts at exploring her dark, increasingly sinister environs. And while a good chunk of such moments are indeed quite creepy, the absence of momentum ensures that the film possesses a hit-and-miss quality that grows more and more problematic as time progresses. The one-shot conceit generally proves effective at heightening the inherent suspense of the situation, yet, by that same token, it also amplifies the less-than-logical elements within the screenplay (eg Laura’s return to the house after making her escape is nothing short of ridiculous). Filmmaker Gustavo Hernández offers up a final half hour that admittedly features a number of tense stand-alone sequences, and although the climactic revelation doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, The Silent House ultimately establishes itself as a passable cinematic experiment that does reward the viewer’s patience on a relatively consistent basis.

**1/2 out of ****

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