Directed by the same duo who brought us the suspenseful Open Water, Silent House could easily be just another run of the mill horror film, featuring a cliched heroine in a low cut top. And while the latter is present and accounted for, the film offers a slightly different way of experiencing a horror movie; in real time. Filmed in a one take style, the 88 minutes of terror our damsel in distress goes through is replayed minute by minute right before our eyes, with no (obvious) cuts. Ironically, this very aspect that makes the film so different is also the cause of some of its biggest problems.
Nick Murphy’s The Awakening is a BBC produced old-fashioned ghost story, tinged with horror, heavy on suspense, but ends up tangled in the web it weaves. Leading lady Rebecca Hall’s hoax-buster is the focal point as she attempts to reveal the parlour tricks behind a “haunted” boarding school. Initially gripping, the tension gradually gives way to the mounting confusion as the potential fades into the ether.
Retreat is Tibbett’s first attempt at directing and he has successfully produced a well-crafted thriller that is full of suspense. Whilst a little slow-paced during the main part of the story, the twists magnify what had been dragged out beforehand. The conclusion, which comes as a surprise, is why this film can be seen as a unique and outstanding take on the killer virus flick, and is what sets it apart from Contagion, also released this month.