B. Can torture porn be art?
Of course, like the MacGuffin of Silent House, it’s all about perspective. One would see why a young actress would want to exercise her dramatic talents by screaming nonstop for 88 minutes–one can also easily see how Silent House, a remake of a 2010 Uruguayan film and based on a true story, is going to be marketed as an indie-alternative response to the horror genre, a distant cousin of The Blair Witch Project. The film, consisting of a single continuous shot, a la Rope and Russian Ark, documents the torture of a young girl and her father at a lakehouse–or does it? The big tease is that it could, of course, all be in Olsen’s mind. But, original as the concept may or may not be, it’s at least a study in that where the line falls between art and exploitation. A very fine line, indeed.