The Silent House (2010 film)
|The Silent House|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Gustavo Hernández|
|Produced by||Gustavo Rojo|
|Written by||Oscar Estévez|
|Music by||Hernán González|
|Running time||86 minutes|
The Silent House (Spanish: La Casa Muda) is an Uruguayan Spanish-language horror film released in 2010 and directed by Gustavo Hernández. The film is supposedly inspired by real events that took place in the 1940s, but no information can be found to authenticate the claims. A small-budget film originally intended for local audiences, it has achieved success in several important international film festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival (where it was shown at Director's Fortnight). At the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Chris Kentis and Laura Lau presented an English-language remake entitled Silent House, starring Elizabeth Olsen.
Laura (Florencia Colucci) and her father Wilson (Gustavo Alonso) arrive at a cottage in a secluded area in order to repair it since its owner Nestor (Abel Tripaldi) will soon put the house on sale. Beforehand, he tells them that the floor on the second level is unstable and that it is unsafe to go upstairs. They intend to spend the night there in order to start the repairs the following morning and everything seems to go on smoothly until Laura hears a sound in the upper floor of the house. Wilson goes up to see what is going on while Laura remains downstairs; La Casa Muda focuses on Laura's plight, second by second, as she tries to leave the house unharmed and ends up discovering the dark secret it hides.
La Casa Muda was shot to look like it was in real time in one continuous 88 minute take. Its claims that it is one of only a handful of theatrically-released movies to be shot in a continuous long take, and that it is the first ever single-take horror film, are contentious, as the camera used, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, can only film up to 15 minutes of continuous footage. With a budget of just six thousand dollars, it was filmed using a handheld high-definition digital single-lens reflex camera (the Canon EOS 5D Mark II) over a period of just four days.
Release and reception
The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on 16 May 2010, a Director's Fortnight selection. That summer and fall it was screened on the festival circuit at the Melbourne International Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, and the Stockholm International Film Festival. Its first theatrical release began on 27 January 2011 in Argentina, followed by a 4 March release in Uruguay, where it was produced. It received mixed reviews after its 8 April 2011 release in the UK, with critics generally praising the director's technical achievements, but finding the overall storyline unimpressive. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian praised the film, writing: "This is a smart, scary film and a technical tour de force with its own skin-crawling atmosphere of fear."
- List of submissions to the 84th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Uruguayan submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
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- Bradshaw, Peter. "The Silent House - Review". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
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- "63 Countries Vie for 2011 Foreign Language Film Oscar". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
- "9 Foreign Language Films Vie for Oscar". Retrieved 2012-01-19.
- "The Silent House (La casa muda) Review"