Silent house

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Silent house

Director: Chris Kentis and Laura Lau; Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Tree, Eric Sheffer 
Stevens, Julia Taylor Ross

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Published: Fri 17 Aug 2012, 6:04 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:54 PM

Silent House creates the illusion that it’s a haunted-house thriller crafted in one long, continuous shot. The camera follows Elizabeth Olsen around a creepy, creaky lake house that’s under renovation and we’re right there with her for every bump, jump and thump of her heart. This isn’t exactly the case, and husband-and-wife directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau acknowledge as much — they actually pieced together several long takes to create one seemingly seamless feature-length film, a process that must have required a great deal of planning, choreography, breath-holding and prayer to pull off in its own right.

But once you realise that what you’re watching is a trick — albeit one that’s beautifully executed from a technical standpoint — with a final twist that’s really a gimmick, its novelty loses a bit of its lustre.

Olsen continues to reveal a startling comfort and maturity in front of the camera for someone so young and relatively inexperienced. But the film’s dexterous cinematographer, Igor Martinovic, is just as much of a star behind the lens.

Silent House features several genuine scares and giggle-inducing jumps. But once the ultimate twist is revealed, you may find yourself feeling frustrated — or even disgusted — rather than frightened.

The film is rated R (18+ in the UAE) for disturbing violent content. Running time: 88 minutes. — AP

DVD reviews: New releases and classics in stores

Project X (2012) ®

Thomas is about to turn 17, and his friends decide to throw him a party no one will forget, whilst his parents are away. Word spreads, and the party becomes much bigger than expected. Pandemonium ensues when drunk and drugged high-schoolers start destroying Thomas’s house. In the midst of it all, Thomas is trying to choose between his best friend Kirby, and the popular girl Alexis. Juvenile and mindless, this movie is a one time watch if you dig crude humour. Make sure your kids aren’t around, because according to the movie, kids can do anything ridiculous as long as it makes them look ‘cool’ and get away with it.

Duration: 88 minutes

Genre: Comedy

What’s good: The chemistry between Thomas and his best friend Kirby, and a few genuinely funny moments

What’s bad: Over the top, crude sexual humour, no 
real story, stereotypical characters

Cast: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan 
Daniel Brown 

Rating: ΗΗΗΗΗ

The Firm: 500 Calorie Workout (2008)

For those of us who have been trying to — forever — figure out a professional training programme just so we can shed a few kilos, this is a good workout to follow. Do it in the privacy of your own house: all you need is sufficient space, decent training gear and, of course, the willpower to be at it (other than an hour of your busy schedule). Fitness trainer Kelsie Daniels alternates between cardios and body-sculpting aerobics, and keeps it fast-paced, so it serves its purpose of keeping you on your toes. And yes, you get to lose 500 calories a day!

Duration: 64 minutes

Genre: Exercise/Workout

What’s good: A scientifically drawn up workout that leaves you sweaty and feeling positively upbeat yourself

What’s bad: Setting aside 60 minutes a day for an 
intense session may still be a pipedream

Cast (if you can call it that!): Kelsie Daniels — who’s been at it since 1990 — does the honours

Rating: ΗΗΗΗΗ

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