Supposedly based on true events, The Silent House (La Casa Muda) is a real treat, until victim to a tired twist that’s all the more disappointing for letting down an engrossing, tense build-up.
On paper, the story is nothing special. Laura and her father head to an isolated house, staying overnight to begin renovation of it in the morning. Cue mysterious noises and ghost-story assumptions. What is special is the impression of a continuous-shot technique — cuts are fairly obvious — Laura’s nightmare at least feels as if real-time, and therefore could not be more involving, the camera’s following of her evoking the sense that she is being stalked, edging closer as her panic escalates.
And, Florencia Colucci is superb, shouldering the film with remarkable ease, considering her lack of experience. Also impressive is some genuine creepiness courtesy of very clever lighting/direction; a surprise from a first-time feature. Clearly, Gustavo Hernández is a name for noting.
First published in movieScope 23
The Silent House is avail able on DVD and Blu-ray from 1 August