I’ve been looking forward to this one for a good while now, folks, and the folks out at IFC obliged. They sent out a copy of The Silent House (otherwise known as La Casa Muda) for me to review, and this one will underscore why Spanish-style horror (I say Spanish-style because it turns out this is Uruguayan) is awesome.
The Silent House follows a young woman and her father in 1940s Uruguay, who have recently been somewhat forced out of the house they’ve been living in, as its owner plans to sell it. The young woman–Laura–and her father–Wilson–move into a small cottage, where they start fixing things up, because they’re probably going to be there a while. The house they left was hiding a strange secret, but the house they’ve moved into has something much more terrifying in its place. There’s a noise outside, and it’s getting steadily louder, until suddenly, it’s inside the house, on the top floor. Wilson goes up to investigate…and Laura awaits his return.
The weird part is? This is based on a true story. Of course, that’s an automatic red flag for me, as it becomes a question of just how much of what we’re watching is a true story. I mean, if I wanted to, I could write a movie about a man who gets up in the morning with a craving for pancakes, and when he sets out to make some, gets abducted by aliens who replace his skeleton with a cybernetic body and send him down to ravage New York and say it was “based on a true story”. After all, I totally did know a guy who woke up with a craving for pancakes one day.
Oh, and fair warning–this isn’t something you can watch for background noise unless you speak Spanish. Because it’s entirely in Spanish (at least I’m reasonably sure it’s Spanish–I don’t speak it myself), but it’s got English subtitles, so you’ll be taken care of here if you’re an Anglophile interested in this one.
But regardless of what language you speak, if you speak horror movies, brace yourself because you’re going to have a real winner on your hands here. They really build some great suspense, and then release it regularly with a variety of “loud noise out of nowhere” scares. This stuff is positively weapons-grade horror (which is safe to expect from IFC), and even includes plenty of those strange sort of events that aren’t immediately explainable, like how a body gets moved from one floor to another without anyone noticing.
Seriously, folks, this is a great one to really put the frighteners on someone with (I love that phrase; thank you Peter Jackson and Michael J. Fox), and only adds to my previous convictions that some of the best horror movies on Earth are of Spanish descent. After seeing the horror feast that was [Rec], that was enough for me.
Plain and simple, if you’re in need of a scary movie, for a party or a thunderstorm night or something like that, The Silent House is going to blow your mind open. Profoundly scary stuff here. Oh, and you’ll want to stick around through the credits for one last good surprise.
The Screenhead Ten Scale gives the absolutely frightening and intensely unsettling The Silent House a full ten out of ten; this is the kind of horror that will keep you up at night.