#13 third series Silent House (Athena Grand)

Silent House starts as a story about another hard to sell house in our times. It turns out that the real estate difficulty comes not so much from the burst housing bubble or the ongoing financial crisis as from #daddy’scock. We find Elizabeth Olsen  on the verge of typecasting as the post-girl who almost manages, at the expense of her sanity, to reveal that the normative nuclear family was never anything but a rape camp.  Silent House captures Olsen in a palpably faked single take meandering through intervalometer shakey hand and other tropes borrowed from “French extreme.” The narrative movement from frustrated flipping to psychosis born of fatherly sex games passes through a supernatural moment, but we find out without the least surprise that the house is haunted by Olsen’s character herself in the sense that she’s out for revenge. The fact that Slavoj Zizek has written about syuzhets that make social fabula seem supernatural until the last enigma is resolved doesn’t make Silent House seem less belabored. The film has the virtue  to reveal the problem with Steven Shaviro’s “post-cinematic affect:” the supposedly new forms in movies produce the same old horror of incest as ever. At most the new affect transforms cinema’s valorization of the bourgeois family into a nostalgic longing for it.

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