So, this is yet another American remake. I have not seen the original Uruguayan version which was released only one year earlier, therefore I watched this with no thoughts or comparisons with the original film, which may or may not have made one bit of difference with how I would experience this one.
Elizabeth Olsen stars as Sarah, a young woman who with her father and uncle visit their lakeside summer home in order to fix it up to hopefully sell it.
Apparently this film was shot all in one unedited take. At least that’s the way this film seems to be marketed, as if this was supposed to impress the audience. I’m not a filmmaker so I’m not sure just how difficult doing it all in one take would be, although I imagine it would be no easy task. I suspect that as convincing as it looked as a all-in-one-shot film, there was probably a bit more done with it than what is claimed.
The setting itself works fairly well, although you would think this house is one massive mansion or estate and not a regular sized summer home, with what seems like hundreds of doors and rooms. Most of the film is very dark, what with all the boarded up windows and whatnot.
Olsen must be given quite a bit of credit here. She pretty much carried the film on her back. Her performance was full of emotion and displays of genuine fear. It’s too bad her character was not developed more so that the viewer could care more about whatever happens to her. As good as Olsen was at doing her part, I still found myself being mostly bored throughout, and the approximate 1 hour and 20 minutes actually felt more like 3 and a half hours.
The scares were few and far between and when they were present, they were rather dull and not frightening. When Sarah finally managed to leave the house and gets brought back in by her dumb-as-nails uncle, things get more whacky and the story takes a different twist which nearly had me rolling my eyes. The final sequence was decent enough but failed to leave any sort of impression on me or at making me even remember what happened at the end. Olsen’s performance was the only thing that made this a somewhat enjoyable experience to watch at times. Her cast mates were flat and uninteresting, however.
I’m usually very forgiving when it comes to flaws in a film, especially in my favorite genre, but this one actually not only managed to nearly put me to sleep, but also annoyed me at times. This is not a good sign.
I recommend it only for horror enthusiasts that absolutely must watch everything released in the genre, or if someone manages to borrow a copy from a friend or when it hits the bargain bin. Otherwise, it is not worth the chore of sitting through the entire thing.