Decoupage-filmmaking, shooting a film with long takes between cuts, has been in play well before Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope or Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane. But then in 2002, the world was amazed as Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov created the first feature-length single-take film, Russian Ark and in 2010 director Gustavo Hernández accomplished a similar feat, filming a 78-minute single-take horror film entitled The Silent House.
Here is the trailer:
Hernández’s film had a run at festivals last year and is set to make a theatrical debut in April in the United Kingdom with no US date yet set. A synopsis goes something like:
Filmed in one single continuous shot of seventy-eight minutes, The Silent House focuses on Laura, who, second by second, intends to leave a house which hides an obscure secret. Laura and her father, Wilson, settle down in a cottage they have to renew since its owner will soon put the house up for sale. They intend to spend the night there and make the repairs the following morning. Everything seems to go smoothly until Laura hears a sound from outside that gets louder and louder on the upper floor of the house. Wilson goes up to see what is going on while she remains downstairs on her own, waiting for her father to come down
Some may argue that the film has obvious openings for the director to cheat the single-take and others will just give him the benefit of the doubt. In either case, it’s a new idea for the horror-genre and for many horror fans, that just may be enough. Are you convinced this will be a single-take? What are the limitations (or bonuses) of shooting a horror-film in this way? Leave us your thoughts below.
— Aaron Faulkner