Silent House (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-13-2012, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109940&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
85





Studio and Year: Universal - 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 86 minutes
Genre: Horror/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Sheffer Stevens
Directed by: Chris Kentis & Laura Lau
Music by: Nathan Larson
Written by: Laura Lau
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 24, 2012







"Things are what they seem"


Film Synopsis:

When Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) finds herself sealed inside her family's secluded lake house with no contact to the outside world, panic soon turns to terror as events become increasingly ominous.

My Take:

The trailer for Silent house reminded me a “The Strangers” which is a decent horror/thriller so while it didn’t seem to be anything new it still piqued my interest. The movie is filmed in real time as one single, uninterrupted shot. There isn’t a deep plot associated with the story and the setup is pretty straight forward. Introductions are brief as things open with the central character Sarah and her father at their lake house preparing it for sale with the help of her father’s brother Uncle Peter. The house has no power/lights and the lake location has no cell service. Sarah has an encounter at the front door/porch with a young woman named Sophia who says that they used to play together around the lake when they were young. She recounts the games they used to play as children while mixing in questions about what they are doing at the house and why. It is clearly obvious that Sarah doesn’t distinctly recollect their association but she embarrassingly goes along agreeing to meet up with Sophia later than evening to hang out.

Uncle Peter has a minor tiff with Sarah’s dad and leaves. Right after this is where things kick off. Sarah and her father are downstairs and she hears a noise coming from upstairs that sounds like someone else is in the house. She asks him to investigate. Things escalate quickly and Sarah finds herself trapped/locked in the house with someone that stalks her every move. Unsure of who/why is after her she scrambles to get out only to find that getting out of the house won’t solve her problem.

This had good potential and I liked the idea of shooting it in real time which worked well for the most part although those that are bothered by shaky camera work might disagree. The suspense didn’t prove to be engaging which led to diminished elements of fright. This wasn’t helped by the overtly conventional script. Elizabeth Olsen helped make up for it with a strong performance but the ridiculous ending sucked the life out of any hope for a viable payoff. The end result is a formulaic horror story that wets the appetite but fails to deliver the type of thrills and chills that genre fans hanker for.

Parental Guide:



The rating is for disturbing violent content and terror.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 84

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692


Silent House comes to Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.1 mbps.

This a solid high definition video presentation that offers excellent refinement during close ups and crisp delineation visible within objects/backgrounds during mid level camera pans. The color range perfectly sets the film’s tone and has a reserved aesthetic that rarely offers bright, eye catching hues. Rendering is clean and depth is appropriate. Fleshtones keep pace with the look of the rest of the film and have a balmy but natural texture. Spot on contrast yield crisp, bright whites and blacks are stable but slightly elevated which leaves them appearing less dynamic and occasionally flat. I didn’t see this as a problem based upon the visual style of the film. This is a pristine rendering that shows no obvious signs of video related artifacts or anomalies.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack offers detail rich clarity while making use of the entire surround platform to support the film’s thematic elements. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is notable. Dynamic range is good which enriches the authority of low frequency effects contained in the mix. There isn’t perpetual use of the rear channels and subwoofer however when applied the effects are involving enough to elevate suspense. I had hoped for a more aggressive surround sound mix but it would be unfair to say that I was disappointed.

Bonus Features:

  • Feature commentary with co-director Chris Kentis & co-director/screenwriter Laura Lau

  • My scenes bookmark feature

  • D-Box Motion Code enabled

  • BD-Live



Final Thoughts:



Silent House is a formulaic horror film that utilizes an unconventional shooting method that worked well enough to keep interest going until that interest was deflated by an abysmal ending. The result is a paint by the numbers horror flick that wets the appetite but fails to deliver the type of thrills and chills that genre fans hanker for. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring solid high definition video quality, gratifying DTS-HD Master Audio sound and a barebones supplemental offering that consists of a filmmaker audio commentary. Silent House offers few surprises, other than the ending which in this case isn’t a good thing, but if you like thrillers of its type it’s probably not a bad rental when the mood strikes.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-13-2012, 06:18 PM
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I still may pick this up...although I would have liked a better plot/ story ...Great review King P...as always ! smile.gif
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-13-2012, 09:47 PM
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Ralph - I take it you did not see the original? I enjoyed it but found that the scene played just past the start of the credits added a nice touch in brining things together. I've not seen the US version so can't compare but it's rare that I find the US remake of a foreign horror film to equal much less exceed the original.

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post #4 of 9 Old 07-14-2012, 03:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by General Kenobi View Post

Ralph - I take it you did not see the original? I enjoyed it but found that the scene played just past the start of the credits added a nice touch in brining things together. I've not seen the US version so can't compare but it's rare that I find the US remake of a foreign horror film to equal much less exceed the original.

Greetings,

I haven't seen the original but will look into checking it out. Thanks. smile.gif


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post #5 of 9 Old 08-21-2012, 09:51 PM
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I finally got around to just seeing this just now, and I thought it was a great movie, except for the last 10 minutes I'm afraid.

From start up until near the end I was on the edge of my seat. I thought it was extremely well made for being 1 continuous long take like that. I thought that Elizabeth Olsen was tremendous in her portrayal of someone not knowing what the hell is going on and all the while being scared and freaking out the whole time, trying to figure out what's what.

I think if you try and watch this late at night, with the lights out and no interruptions, you could get lost in this as well just like I did.

I watched this by myself to preview it before taking a chance on saving it for movie night to make sure it was any good, and it was in my book. I'm curious to see what the rest of my family thinks when they see it later this week.

I'm starting to think more about what the ending really meant, maybe it's 1 of those types of endings that leaves you thinking about as time goes on. Hopefully the true meaning behind the ending will come to me at some point. biggrin.gif

I'm just disappointed that it ended in the direction that it did. Maybe a repeated viewing will clarify it up a bit for me.

As of right now I'd give it 3.5 out of 5 stars, the ending dropped it down a half a star. frown.gif

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post #6 of 9 Old 08-22-2012, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

I finally got around to just seeing this just now, and I thought it was a great movie, except for the last 10 minutes I'm afraid.
From start up until near the end I was on the edge of my seat. I thought it was extremely well made for being 1 continuous long take like that. I thought that Elizabeth Olsen was tremendous in her portrayal of someone not knowing what the hell is going on and all the while being scared and freaking out the whole time, trying to figure out what's what.
I think if you try and watch this late at night, with the lights out and no interruptions, you could get lost in this as well just like I did.
I watched this by myself to preview it before taking a chance on saving it for movie night to make sure it was any good, and it was in my book. I'm curious to see what the rest of my family thinks when they see it later this week.
I'm starting to think more about what the ending really meant, maybe it's 1 of those types of endings that leaves you thinking about as time goes on. Hopefully the true meaning behind the ending will come to me at some point. biggrin.gif
I'm just disappointed that it ended in the direction that it did. Maybe a repeated viewing will clarify it up a bit for me.
As of right now I'd give it 3.5 out of 5 stars, the ending dropped it down a half a star. frown.gif

Greetings,

yadfgp, I am glad to hear you enjoyed this one. As I stated in my review it was going along nicely but the ending just didn't payoff. Post back after your family has seen it.. smile.gif


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post #7 of 9 Old 08-22-2012, 09:11 AM
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Nice review, Ralph. I pretty much agree although I upped my stars slightly to 3/5--I enjoyed it enough but wasn't really happy with the ending either. I too thought Elizabeth Olsen did a fine job--really pretty much single-handed. Was a good rent but wouldn't buy.

Bob

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post #8 of 9 Old 08-24-2012, 08:17 PM
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Watched this today and I want my 90 min back. Actually less than that since I FF through a good bit of it. One of the worst screenplays I've seen in a while.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-24-2012, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,
yadfgp, I am glad to hear you enjoyed this one. As I stated in my review it was going along nicely but the ending just didn't payoff. Post back after your family has seen it.. smile.gif
Regards,

We just got done seeing it, and both my parents and my sister who watched it all liked it alot. After seeing it again a second time I was able to fully understand the ending and appreciate it for how it did end. When I watched it the first time, it didn't seem like it dragged on it all. Every once in awhile I would look at the time on my blu ray player, and it would say... 25 minutes, and then all of a sudden next thing I knew it would say 50 minutes and so on. My family pretty much agreed as well. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what Elizabeth Olsen is in next. She was great in that other movie she was in recently about that cult. Great actress, hard to believe she's related to the Olsen twins though! They can't act but she can... Go figure.

I think upon having seen it again, I'm gonna give it that half star back and give it 4 out of 5 stars. biggrin.gif

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