Silent House

Thoughts on, and a place to discuss, the plot details we can't reveal in our review.

Seriously, yuck: So it’s pretty obvious early on that something bad happened in the house in the past, particularly once Olsen’s childhood friend shows up and starts making cryptic remarks. And it’s pretty creepy the way Trese openly admits to looking at his daughter’s Facebook page and declares that the boy who likes her doesn’t deserve her. Or the way Stevens leeringly talks about how grown-up she’s gotten. Then there are those Polaroids that start appearing throughout the house, which both Stevens and Trese pocket guiltily. But the reveal that the uncle and the father molested her when she was a child, and took pictures? Ick. 

I’m not against horror films tapping into real-life horrors. In one way or another, they all have to. But done wrong, it just feels dirty. And Silent House plays up the imagery of child molestation and child pornography as if it were just another thrill device. (It reminded me of the awful A Nightmare On Elm Street remake in that way.) There’s even, in shades of the event that inspired The Accused, a pool table involved. But it’s never worse than at the end after it’s revealed that, à la Haute Tension, Olsen has both been scaring herself and doubling as the attacker, and Trese starts taking off his belt and beating her as if she were a child again, and threatening worse. Anyone looking to find the line between an exploitation film and an exploitative film should look here.

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