, a remake of the Uruguayan film La Casa Muda
, deconstructs our perception of how one makes a taut, unnerving thriller in real time.
Taking on this unique challenge are directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, a duo no stranger to projects calling for tricky production preparation. In 2004, they tackled the shark-infested Open Water
. Through Silent House
producer Agnès Mentre, Kentis and Lau became acquainted with La Casa Muda
and, together, they jumped at the possibilities an English-language remake presented.
“The real challenge is, how to tell a story, try to give the audience a unique, engrossing, emotional experience, without the usual film making tools and techniques at your disposal,” Kentis says. “Pacing, how to reveal information, jumps in time, sculpting the nuances of a performance. All are usually achieved by shooting coverage and of course, through editing, but now, that’s off the table. In a way, you have to think of a new cinematic language to communicate all of this.” That said, the filmmakers also hope audience members overlook the fact the story unfolds in a continuous shot and will become absorbed by the plight of Elizabeth Olsen’s character, Sarah. “We want to take them through this experience with the character, never getting a break, caring for every single second she’s on screen,” says Lau.
“It’s not actually one shot, to achieve that effect we strung a series of complicated long takes together” Kentis clarifies, “it’s interesting to me that some people would fixate on how many shots we did do. But the best compliment for me is to hear people who saw the film say they didn’t even notice it was one shot or get distracted by that.”
Silent House opens nation wide March 9th, 2012.