The Silent House (Gustavo Hernandez, 2010)

What's it about? With the American remake due in cinemas this month, time to check out the Uruguayan original La Casa Muda. Laura (Florencia Colucci) and her father arrive at a dilapidated house in the country to declutter it for a friend. Once inside, they hear strange sounds upstairs and, naturally, they decide to investigate......

Is it any good? The premise might not sound too original, but this tries to bring something new to the horror party. The gimmick here is that the entire 78 minutes is apparently filmed in a single take. (I say 'apparently' because there are moments of complete blackness where cuts probably have been made, à la Hitchcock's Rope, but to all intents and purposes, it is filmed in one go and unfolds in real time.) And for the most part this is really quite effective, as we stay close to Laura throughout, seeing and hearing what she does, often peering nervously over her shoulder as she investigates the darkest corners of the creaky, creepy old house. As a result, we get a nicely claustrophobic atmosphere, some good BOO! moments and a sense of actually being there. Of course, you are tempted to shake her by the shoulder and tell her to quit peering into dusty corners, stay away from oddly placed mirrors and let's just GET THE FUCK OUTTA THERE AND STAY OUT!! But such is the nature of these things, so I was happy to go along with it. You should actually save your shouting for the final 15 mins, which unforgivably undermines most of the suspense that has been built up by taking the story in a direction which may be horrific, but which makes about as much sense as a bottle of chips. After a reasonably innovative set-up, what a pity it couldn't come up with a better and more original finale.

Anything else I should know? Four things, listed in order of amazingness.
  1. I'm not going to bother with the remake, which changes little of the story and by all accounts suffers the same problems with the confusing ending.
  2. It's allegedly based on a real story, but there doesn't seem to be any info on t'interweb about it. And we all know the internet never lies.
  3. It cost only $6,000 to make, but looks pretty professional
  4. I was eating an apple when watching this. At one point I looked down and the apple had been eaten away leaving only the core!! That's a true story. 
What does the Fonz think? Oooh!!! Aagghh!!! Huh??? 

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