Thursday, March 08, 2012

'Silent House,' 'Open Water' and Horror Movies Based Around Gimmicks

Over at Deadspin, I wrote about Silent House, which stars Elizabeth Olsen. (It's funny to think that Silent House debuted at the same Sundance that included Martha Marcy May Marlene; the girl specialized in playing terrified women that year at the festival.) My article is less a review than it is a look at the movie's directors, Chris Kentis and Laura Lau. Last time we heard from them, they were responsible for Open Water. You maybe hated that film; I thought it was pretty great. Well, years later they're back with another movie built around a gimmick: Silent House is meant to look like one continuous shot. Watching the movie, I got to thinking about this whole notions of "gimmicky" horror films. Are they necessarily bad because they have a high-concept hook? Here are my thoughts on that.