'Silent House' Adds Another Trapped House Movie to Horror Genre

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This is the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Co. It inspired Steven King's "The Shining" and in fact the 1996 remake was filmed here.
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This is the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Co. It inspired Steven King's "The Shining" and in fact the …

Elizabeth Olsen stars in the new horror flick "Silent House," which the studio advertises as a real-time, one-take movie. According to the advertising, the directors shot the entire film in one long take with no cuts, although there is always the chance there are hidden cuts here and there.

While that gimmick might make "Silent House" stand out, it is nonetheless a low budget horror movie with the characters trapped in one location, desperate to escape. It is a classic horror device, reminiscent of some of cinema's best horror movies.

"The Shining"

Arguably the best contained horror movie of all time is "The Shining," in which Jack Torrance takes his wife and son to an old hotel in Colorado to serve as the caretaker over the winter months while it is closed down. While at the hotel, the seasonal blizzards come in and cut off the hotel from general society. Cabin fever sets in.

The movie, based on the novel by Stephen King, was a haunted house story but director Stanley Kubrick changed it into a story of a man driven insane. Jack Nicholson delivers an amazing performance as Jack, who starts off as a normal, if emotionally insecure, father and husband who turns into a psychotic murderer by the end. "The Shining" is one of the best adaptations of a Stephen King horror story in cinema history.

"Evil Dead 2"

While the first "Evil Dead" was a wonderful independent horror movie, director Sam Raimi got the chance to remake it, creating "Evil Dead 2," one of the best horror movies of all time. The sequel has the same setup as the original , with Ash (Bruce Campbell) heading to a remote cabin in the woods where he ends up fighting for his life against the undead.

The difference between the movies starts with the cast of characters. In the original movie, Ash and his friends head to the cabin for a weekend trip. In this second effort, Ash and his girlfriend head to the cabin alone, although he meets up with new people who arrive later.

Another difference is that, in the second movie, Ash is the one possessed by evil spirits. The final big distinction is the drastic improvement to the CGI, increasing the appeal of the movie for mainstream audiences.

"The Devil's Backbone"

Before the world really took notice of the artistic excellence of Guillermo Del Toro, he directed the Spanish horror film "The Devil's Backbone." The movie tells the tale of a young boy named Carlos who is placed in dilapidated orphanage during the Spanish Civil War until his father returns. When a ghostly young boy who begins to haunt him, Carlos has to find out what the specter wants him to do before ending up dead himself.

The movie is an effective, haunting chiller, one of the best ghost stories ever filmed. Del Toro also infuses the movie with his fairy tale sensibilities, which he mastered in another Spanish Civil War tale, "Pan's Labyrinth."

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