Film: The Silence
Starring: Kiernan Shipka, Stanley Tucci, Miranda Otto, John Corbett, Kate Trotter, Kyle Brietkopf
Director: John R. Leonetti
Review: Dion Hall
Rating: 2.5X’s out of 5X’s
Netflix has quickly become a major player in the film industry with the creation of their original films and series. The Silence is Netflix’s most recent film released on April 10, 2019. In the beginning of the film we see two people exploring a cave where they release ancient creatures on the world. The creatures quickly fan out and begin attacking the populace. It is promptly discovered that the key to survival is silence. The creatures have poor vision, but use their acute hearing to pick out the victims. When the creatures arrive the world isn’t ready and the creatures thrive in the chaos despite the knowledge that being silent will save your life. The Silence focuses on a girl and her family navigating in this new world where humans are prey. Ally Andrews played by Kiernan Shipka (Shipka also stars in Netflix’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch) is deaf, which greatly aids her and her family as they can effectively communicate with one another without having to verbally speak. When they find out that silence is they key to survival, Ally states to her family that she knows how to live in a world of silence, but this is a lot easier said then done. The Silence has a number of elements that make it very similar to another Netflix original film Bird Box. Although the future was much more bleak for the people in Bird Box, both films have similar settings and also face similar challenges.
The Silence potentially could have been a solid film, but it falls extremely short for a number of reasons. First off it doesn’t do a good job explaining what the creatures are, where the came from, and how they survived. It is assumed that the creatures were in that cave for thousands of years, so how did they manage to survive that long? The film is also very quick watch with the run time being just 1 hour and 30 minutes. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for character or plot development. The period when the family meets and defeat the secondary antagonist is about 15 minutes. The film doesn’t explain the motivation behind this antagonist and why they behave the way they do. That dynamic could have brought a lot to the film by really challenging the family and diving into the psyche of the secondary antagonist. The Silence simply rushes through and leaves a lot to be desired. Had the film makers spent an additional 30 minutes to develop the plot that could have made all the difference. We at Critix give The Silence 2 ½ X’s out of 5 X’s.