Movie Review – The Silence

TL;DR – This is a film that has unfortunately come out after several other films have done the same premise but better in every respect and because of that this can’t help but feel lacklustre in comparison     

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Silence. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Sometimes the film business can be tough, where forces outside of your control can completely derail your project through no fault of your own. Today we look at just such a film that in many ways just had the back luck of not being the first one out of the gate. However, more than just that we look at a film that suffers from inconsistencies throughout which really shows when you compare it to those that have come before.

So to set the scene, we open in an uncharted cave system under the Appalachian Mountains where a group of explorers are trying to chart it. When suddenly after breaking through as a rock formation they disturb what was lurking underneath and they are instantly killed by a swarm of creatures that fly out into the night sky. Meanwhile, Ally (Kiernan Shipka) is on her way home after she was mocked because she is deaf and is also frustrated because her parents Hugh (Stanley Tucci) and Kelly (Miranda Otto) are coddling her in response the accident that took her hearing. During the night she is woken up by her parents as something is happening, a terrorist attack, chemical weapons, no it is the Veps and they are killing everything and everyone in their paths.

The Silence. Image Credit: Netflix.
All of the tension feels manufactured rather than natural. Image Credit: Netflix.

Now I do think it is a little unfair to critique this film as a copy of what came before, given that it went into production before A Quiet Place and Bird Box came out. However, while watching the film you can’t help but draw comparisons and mostly not for good reasons. For example, this is a film where there is an entity out there that hunts using sound to find its prey, so any noise could be your last. This also means that you have to adapt the way you live to survive and it is focused on one family that can survive because one of their members is deaf so they already know sign language. So from just a simple level, The Silence is a film that we have seen done before, which would be a problem, even more so with the fact that it has been done before and done better.     

The first thing you notice is how inconsistent this film is with its antagonists and just what sound will set them off. This inconsistency happens throughout the film. You see it in how society collapses, in how the internet works, and in how the characters engage with the one deaf character in the film Ally. In a good show, you can get away with these inconsistencies because the narrative, or the characters, or the setting pulls you though, not so here. Here all you can do is think of how none of this works in the context of the film. For example, how did these creatures survive in the cave for so long that they lost their eyesight and not have eaten themselves into extinction, if they are so well adapted to the caves what effect would daylight have on them, and also why don’t people just ride around with mulchers and let them take care of the problem? You might posit it is unfair to pose these questions, but then the film constantly brings up ecological adaptation as part of the narrative.  

The Silence. Image Credit: Netflix.
Not even the human antagonists can help this film. Image Credit: Netflix.

At no point did I feel any emotional connection with any of the characters and it felt like the film knew this. There are these moments that feel like they have been added in to ratchet up the tension like the subway scene, or the entire character of Glenn (John Corbett). However, they didn’t really add anything, nor did it fell that the human antagonists were anything more than caricatures brought to life. There was one moment of creativity with the use of mobile phones towards the end, but I can’t recommend an entire film for one moment that had me go ‘oh, that’s a bit interesting.’ Add to this some so, so visual effects, and a musical score that feels out of place at times and none of it really helps.  

In the end, do we recommend The Silence? No, not really. If you can get your hands on it, A Quiet Place does what this film is doing but stronger in nearly every way, or indeed if you have Netflix, I would say Bird Box is a similar film that is much more engaging.       

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched The Silence?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
 


Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Silence
Directed by
– John R. Leonetti
Written by – Carey Van Dyke & Shane Van Dyke
Based on – The Silence by Tim Lebbon
Music by – tomandandy
Cinematography by – Michael Galbraith
Edited by – Michele Conroy
Production/Distribution Companies – Constantin Film, EMJAG Productions & Netflix
Starring
– Kiernan Shipka, Stanley Tucci, Miranda Otto, John Corbett, Kyle Breitkopf, Kate Trotter, Dempsey Bryk and Billy MacLellan
Rating – Australia: MA15

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