Life through my myopic eyes.

The Silent House (2010): The Little Film that Could


We watched this the other night out of curiosity. The film itself is a bit of a ‘one-off’ in that the director and producers claim that the film was made in a continuous take of 88 minutes. However if you look at the equipment that they used, a Canon EOS 5D Mark II which can only film up to fifteen minutes of continuous footage, it does bring a bit of doubt to the producers veracity.  I’m not doubting the producers intent though. Like most digital photographic cameras, there are ways to bypass the 15 minute limitation, not least of which is just having enough memory cards or disks to pop in after you’ve filled up the current one.

I have noticed a certain amount of snobbery and downright aggression against the ‘continuous’ claim and I can’t really understand it. The film is the first ‘horror film‘ to use a professional photographic camera to shoot the entire movie and despite claims and counter claims to the contrary, is the first to use a continuous take approach. All this means is that the film has a ‘real-time’ feel to it and that this enhances the tension we, the audience, feel while watching it.

Considering that the films total budget was in the region of seven thousand dollars, this is not a film to be scoffed at. It delivers well enough and the effects, though minimal, work well enough. In fact the film delivers well enough that before the digital dust had settled on it’s world premier, a Hollywood re-make with Elizabeth Olsen was in the works. So the film makers must have done something right.

Directed by Gustavo Hernández (who also co-wrote the screenplay with Oscar Estévez and Gustavo Rojo) The Silent House is based upon ‘true events that occurred in Uruguay in the 1940’s. If you Google this long enough, you’ll eventually find an oblique reference to the discovery of two horribly mutilated corpses that were found in a semi-derelict house in the country.  That’s all you will find. Still it was this story that provided the kernel of the film and it’s plot.

The film has a cosy feel to it cast wise as there are only really three players in the film.  Florencia Colucci as LauraGustavo Alonso as Wilson (Laura’s pop) and Abel Tripaldi as Nestor. There is another actor in the film, but as they only show up briefly towards the end, I don’t really count them as part of the main cast.

Nestor has employed Wilson and Laura to ‘clear up’ an old farmhouse that he owns. He wants to sell the old place but realizes his chances of doing so are pretty poor with the property in its current state. He shows Wilson and Laura what he wants done and before he leaves he tells the both of them to stay on the ground floor. The top floor of the two story property is unsafe with loose tiles and floorboards.

As it is quite late in the day, Wilson and Laura decide to sleep before starting their work in the morning. Literally seconds after Wilson enters the land of Nod, Laura begins to hear noises from the floor above them. After finally waking Wilson, who appears to have the ability to sleep through a major world war, Laura tells him that someone has entered the house and is moving around the top floor. He agrees to investigate, but before he goes he tells Laura that he expects her to be asleep when he returns.

As he heads up the stairs, Laura waits anxiously. We hear a scream and a thud and it appears that Wilson has encountered something bad. The film then spends a good portion of time building suspense and throwing in the odd ‘timely’ scare.

I won’t lie to you here. I don’t really see what was so great about the film that it warranted an almost instantaneous Hollywood re-make. On a scale of movie making where a score of 1 equals unimaginative and 10 equals revolutionary breathtaking originality. I’d have to place The Silent House around the region of 6 or maybe at a push 7.

Of course I don’t make films for a living, I just enjoy watching them and then talking about them. Perhaps the producers of the re-make (already out there by the way re-titled somewhat imaginatively as Silent House) saw what having a larger budget and a better known cast could do with this interesting little film. Who knows?

Still just in the area of the new digital trend in the movie making business the film hits a few resounding notes. The entire film was (regardless of whether it was done in continuous takes or not) shot with a professional photographic camera. It was shot as continuous as possible (taking into account the technical restraints of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II) and it did so on a budget so small that the phrase ‘shoestring’ budget seems almost too grandiose a term.

I would recommend seeing it, especially if you haven’t seen the re-make yet. It is always interesting to see the original films before Hollywood gets hold of them and ‘jazzes them up.’ It is also worth a look just by benefit of budget alone. When someone can make a movie for less than it costs to buy a used car, that sort of ingenuity is worth a look or two.

Canon EOS 5D

Canon EOS 5D (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categorised in: Entertainment, Film Reviews, Horror Film, World Cinema

3 Responses »

  1. I always wanted to try doing this. I’m glad someone tried an apparently succeeded. Too bad such movies get such minimal distributation, but I’m glad they are trying … and I don’t care if they had to stop and change the chip. I don’t see how it matters one way or the other. The accomplishment is making a movie this way, which is in my opinion, rather remarkable.

    • I completely agree. I have heard of folks who have tried to shoot an entire film on a mobile phone camera! And why not? Creativity should not have limitations arbitrarily place on it. I remember a few years ago when Asian cinema first started making a lot more digital films, the traditionalists were really moaning about the negative side of using a digital medium. Most of the arguments did not hold water or make sense. It was just the usual nay-sayers who wanted the world to know that in their minds change was not good. I love anyone who is willing to take a chance and try something new. :-D

Trackbacks

  1. Silent House (2011): All the Subtilty of a Brick | MikesFilmTalk

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Goodreads

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12,959 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 149,342 hits

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

Inspiring Blogger Award

Inspiring Blogger Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

The Sister Abigail Show

Activist, Author, Nutritional Consultant, Raw Food Chef

Charlottesweb

Sherlock, Star Trek Fan Fiction. Original Stories Too

Storiform.com

Writing Popular Fiction

Cornelius' Life Story

This blog is about me, growing up in Africa and now in The states pursuing a degree.

MovieScience101

Everything you need to know about science in movies

lionaroundwriting

Let us make an exchange - I provide stories, you enjoy them.

Espen Stenersrød- From Pen To Heart

Jack Kerouac with a scent of Henry Vaughn

GENRE LOVE

Speculative Fiction by Tonya R. Moore

Ludica

A storyteller.

Benedict Cumberbatch

Celebrating Benedict Cumberbatch, his work and his fandom.

pgcps mess - Reform Sasscer without delay.

Fight corruption in PGCPS. Innovate, Change and Transform - Create Transparency and Accountability Initiative.

Vonj productions

Inspiration received and put forth for the good of the people

LeonnaDenisa

Hakunamatata (^o^)/

Confessions Of A Hollywood Nobody

Every journey begins with a single... word

Pulsar Passages

What you see here is "come what may".

meganelizabethmorales

You're insane? We're all insane! Bwahahahaha!

Paul Laight

Writer. Filmmaker. Semi-Pro Comedian. Wageslave

C A M S H I E

Witness The Truth: Spot Your Greatness

COURAGE TIMES THREE

A fine WordPress.com site

All Food Cooking Recipes

The Original European Cooking Recipes. All Cooking Recipes. All Continental Recipes. All Mexican Recipes. Italian Recipes.

FY HI!

A particular remarkable and usually surprising bit of information

Words n' Clouds

News told by words, news shown in clouds

Abby Mabb

Snarly female. Occasional book reviewer.

Dream, Play, Write!

Today, make a commitment to your writing.

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

behindtheglamorsblog

This World Is Not Perfect Like You Still Imagine

Craig Lumen

Characters

Travel Magazine New Zealnd

For the Love of travel is New Zealand’s premium Travel Magazine

Ventaforce

Network Engineering Software By Sankalp

Indo Africa Times

Reed to succeed in Africa !!!

Subterranean Cinema - Redux

the return of Don Alex

storyofthekitchn

FOOD & DRINK

Its all about having a heart!

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Eat Diamonds for Breakfast

and shine all day.

YONA PHOT©

Street photography, Travel Photography, Exploration Photography

Top of the Bottom Pile

My favorite part of the bottom is the top.

RyanOnFire.com

Speaking my sports mind at an incredible rate.

Healthcare Professional Development Institute - HCPDI

Online Short CPD Courses in All Health Disciplines: Health Services Mgt, Public Health, Medicine & Surgery, Pharmacy, Med Lab, Dentistry, Psychosocial Care, Nursing & Midwifery...

环游K场

纵贯音乐大世界 K-Xpress

The Keys

"As every thread of gold is valuable, so is every moment in time." - John Mason

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,959 other followers

%d bloggers like this: