Archive of films Old Dark House / Old Dark House
2003, 4 min
Section: Tribute to Ben Rivers
A short excursion to an abandoned house in which a flashlight randomly illuminates the deserted dwelling while the soundtrack intensifies a feeling of unrest – and curiosity. This early work by Rivers reveals some of the thematic obsessions to which the filmmaker frequently returned.
The film’s title says it all – or so it seems. We do indeed walk through an old house in this short film, and the term "dark” aptly describes the mood. Nevertheless, the movie goes beyond this concrete context. At once both disturbing and enticing, the film draws the viewer into the visited building, which will be of interest to the director in a future work as well. The flitting flashlight randomly selects places in the abandoned structure that are there for us to see, while the unnerving soundtrack intensifies the uncertainty of where we actually are and of who is actually filming all this.