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'Silent House': Scarier locale than Bates Motel?

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Silent House
Will Hart

Elizabeth Olsen is on screen for almost the entire 88 minutes of Silent House, the new horror movie that plays out in real time without any obvious cuts or editing. As Lisa Schwarzbaum noted in her review, Olsen is the perfect actress for the part: She has one of those placid, blank-canvas faces that registers every note of fear, and she’s a member of an elite club of actresses who somehow still manage to look gorgeous while crying hysterically. (Current Club President: Natalie Portman.)

But there’s another character in the movie who’s just as evocatively scary as Olsen: the house itself. A creaky fixer-upper in one of those bucolic horror-movie locales where cell phones conveniently don’t work, the house is boarded up, electricity-free, and (obviously) full of secrets. We won’t spoil any of them here, but suffice to say, it’s not the kind of place you’d want to spend the night — or even a day, since the boarded-up windows don’t let any light in anyway.

Of course, the house falls into a long tradition of terrifying scary-movie lodgings. There are the classics, like Psycho‘s Bates Motel, which boasted amenities like tasteful taxidermy and high-flow shower heads; The House on Haunted Hill, where Vincent Price offered guests $10,000 just to spend the night (beats free HBO); and The Shining‘s Overlook Hotel, with that funky-cool geometric carpeting and easy access to fire axes. And let’s not forget about some great recent additions to the list, like the high-turnover abode in The Grudge, the American Horror Story mansion, and the new-development lodgings in the Paranormal Activity franchise (which prove houses don’t have to be old to scare the crap out of you).

Each of these buildings has some room for improvement, especially if you’re one of those people who value things like “probable survival” when choosing lodgings. But let’s put it to a vote: Which one of these houses would you most like to spend a night in? Use whatever criteria you pick: Likelihood of death, star-wattage of fellow guests, sheet thread-count, anything. Click your choice — and then be sure to let us know your reasons in the comments!