La Casa Muda (The Silent House) is a 2010 Uruguayan horror film directed by Gustavo Hernández, and stars Florencia Colucci, Gustavo Alonso and Abel Tripaldi. The film was marketed as being shot in one long, continuous take, and is supposedly based on real events that happened in the 1940s.
The plot follows Laura and her father, Wilson, as they arrive at a run-down cottage in a secluded area in order to repair it since its owner, Nestor, will soon put the house on sale. Before selling, Nestor tells them that the floor on the second level is unstable and that it is unsafe to go upstairs. Laura and Wilson intend to spend the night there in order to start the repairs the next morning. As Laura tries to sleep, however, she hears a sound upstairs. At Laura's insistence, Wilson goes up to see what is going on while Laura remains downstairs.
Things get worse from then on as Laura tries to escape from the house and ends up discovering the dark secret it hides...
This film provides examples of:
- Based on a True Story: Either that, or Based on a Great Big Lie. The "real events" have never been authenticated.
- Bird Scare: Done shortly after the first attack.
- Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Laura. She's later revealed to be a Broken Bird.
- Camera Flash Danger Revelation
- Chekhov's Gun: The sickle and the Polaroid camera.
- Creepy Child: The young girl that Laura keeps seeing. The girl is later revealed to be her dead daughter, and Laura is likely hallucinating the girl's presence.
- Creepy Children Singing: At one point, a radio switches on apparently by itself and starts blaring out a chorus of children singing, occasionally punctuated with a creepy, child-like laugh.
- Creepy Doll: One keeps showing up in various odd places throughout the film.
- Haunted House: Subverted.
- Hollywood Darkness: Averted. The house is barely lit by the dimming natural light shining through the boarded-up windows, and Laura requires a lamp to find her way around. When her lamp gets smashed later, it gets pitch dark.
- Mind Screw: The entire film qualifies. How much is real, and how much is a hallucination? Did Laura's traumatic backstory really happen, or is it all in her mind?
- The Oner: Supposedly made as a one, long shot.
- Parental Incest/Abusive Parents: Implied, although it isn't explicit.
- Room Full of Crazy: Laura comes across a bedroom wallpapered with provocative Polaroid pictures that feature Nestor, Wilson, and several different girls with whom they're about to have sex, and who have apparently been plied with alcohol. Laura is one of them.
- Spooky Photographs: Laura accidentally takes a photo of herself with a Polaroid camera... revealing that the young girl is standing behind her.
- The Stinger: A full seven-minute scene plays out after the closing credits, in which Laura burns the photographs, then walks into the woods to find her daughter (now named Sophie.) The two walk out into a clearing, where it is revealed that she is actually holding and speaking to the doll she found in the house.