‘The Silence’ evokes screaming frustration
One of Netflix’s newest films, “The Silence,” comes with little anticipation — but has a solid amount of talent behind it with stars including Stanley Tucci and Miranda Otto taking on this potentially compelling project. Is this a surprise hit or is this just as underwhelming as you could imagine “A Quiet Place” would be?
The film tells the story of a deaf girl and her family who must fight through an invasion of bloodthirsty, blind bat creatures that have developed an acute sense of hearing. In order to get through this, the family must use their sign language skills to get through the terrifying ordeal.
Plain and simple, this movie stinks. Right off the bat, the premise — despite being based on a novel — clearly feels like a rip off of films “A Quiet Place” and “Birdbox,” with very little included to give itself a distinct identity. The film suffers heavily in many of its setup elements. The threat takes far too long to get established and once it does, any sense of suspense has been deflated due to its overall generic feel. Similarly, the rules established here felt wildly inconsistent and sloppily exposed to the audience.
The family themselves have an unbelievably weak dynamic. A lot of this has to do with the performances, which all range from barely passable to atrocious. Kiernan Shipka, who many may recognize as the titular character from Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” series, is beyond unbelievable in her portrayal, leading to some hilariously bad line deliveries. Kate Trotter and John Corbett also appear and do equally terrible jobs. Tucci is alright, but at times clearly is phoning things in for a paycheck.
The crummy performances combined with the below average screenplay led to a very unnatural feel to the characters. This killed anything above a surface level feeling of tension or suspense, with the predictable structure lending itself the knowledge of who will be killed by the first five minutes.
On a production standpoint, the film is laughably incompetent in much of its direction — which shouldn’t be a surprise from the guy who directed “Mortal Combat: Annihilation” and “Annabelle.” The film looks disgusting, with a mucky color grading that makes it look like the film is being shot through toilet water. The special effects are awful, as is much of the editing, outside of one decent transition towards the beginning of the film.
It’s going to be tough to top the pure incompetence of “The Silence.” It’s obvious that not an ounce of care or love was put into this project, which almost makes the final product not worth being disappointed in. For those looking for even decent horror, “The Silence” does not deserve your time.