Review – The Silence (2019)

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and we don’t feel fine. Post-apocalyptic films have been around ever since I can remember, but these sensory-deprivation subgenre films seem to be all the rage nowadays. Films where somebody is deaf, mute, or blind, which adds to the overall plot direction. A few films come to mind that implement this idea. Obviously, last year’s A Quiet Place is the most known, but there have been others, such as Lights Out, Hush, and Don’t Breathe. Netflix’s own The Silence, on the other hand, seems like the least original out of the bunch, as it just seems to be the dollar store version of A Quiet Place. Yet, it’s one of the only movies that was an adaptation of a book that came out before the rest…so technically, it’s the most original. I’ll be honest, it’s only the knowledge that this came first that made me want to see it, because the trailers didn’t really grasp me otherwise.

When the world is under attack from terrifying creatures who hunt their human prey by sound, 16-year old Ally Andrews (Kiernan Shipka), who lost her hearing at 13, and her family seek refuge in a remote haven.

Netflix

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, since there’s honestly no avoiding it. The Silence will feel like a cheap knockoff of A Quiet Place. It just will. It has near-identical plot elements, including the deaf daughter who is probably the most important when it comes down to their decision-making regarding survival. The only real difference with A Quiet Place regarding plot was in that film, they were trying to find a way to kill the monsters, in this, their only real goal was to survive. In a real way, you could see the two films as connected, like this was the prequel to the other, as A Quiet Place is a more-established version of the same world and this is how it all began. But, as much as I hate to compare similar films, this is one of those rare moments where it feels impossible, since it feels like the same movie, and you know what makes a movie like this work really well…so when they don’t do it…you’re a little let down.

It really is cheap. I wasn’t just saying cheap knockoff because of what that implies, but because the budget was clearly limited. The CGI for the monsters is okay, but nothing memorable or that impressive in the long term. They were everything they needed to be to help progress the story, but nothing more. Nobody will be saying “remember those creatures from The Silence” years from now, which is only one of the many elements in this film that separate the audience from the experience and really extinguish any hope of tension.

As much as I have been enjoying Kiernan Shipka recently, she played one of the least-believable deaf girls I have ever seen in a movie or TV show. She spoke like a normal person would, seemed to understand what everyone was saying, even though they only signed half of the time, and when it came down to conversations with multiple people in a circle, she seemed to understand what everyone was saying when she wasn’t even looking at the other people…yeah, okay then. You know what, though? Deaf people can potentially do a pretty good job sounding normal when they speak, so that wouldn’t be as big of a deal…IF she wasn’t picked on by bullies at school making fun of her “deaf voice”…that she doesn’t have. She’s a good actress, but that was probably a poor casting choice, and she wasn’t the only poor casting choice.

What the H-E-Double Hockey sticks is John Corbett doing in this movie? What is he doing wielding a gun? That dude is the most relaxed, down-to-earth, nearly hippy actor I’ve ever seen. He has no place in a thriller like this, and I don’t care how many bullets you have him shooting, he still feels like he’s having a good time, man. It’s all one big crap shoot anywho! Let’s look past John Corbett. I AM a big fan of Stanley Tucci in nearly everything, but he’s better at being a douche bag than a loving father. Rarely, he changes his role to something more comedic, which he does surprisingly well with, but this action-oriented protective father role? I just didn’t see it. Miranda Otto did okay, but she was mostly ignored as a vital member of the family.

Overall, I wasn’t impressed. Even when you stop look at the people and just look at the things going on behind-the-scenes, they didn’t really focus on making the visuals, camerawork, editing, music or sound stand out. Again, this’ll come down to me comparing it to A Quiet Place, but this wasn’t a quiet place. For a world attempting to remain quiet all the time, it sure is a noisy place. Lots of animals in the background that, apparently, the scary creatures aren’t trying to kill? The other movie did a fantastic job basically making silence a character all in itself, while this just didn’t feel like that. All together, the lack of concern about how this movie looked, sounded, and ultimately was acted made everything entirely lackluster, lacking any kind of tension whatsoever, which is the main ingredient in a movie like this.

In other words, it kind of sucked.

TOTAL SCORE – 36%

Current 2019 Rankings:
Overall: 36th place (2nd to last place) out of 50 Movies
Horror: Last Place out of 10 Movies
Thriller: Last Place out of 17 Movies
Drama: Last Place out of 17 Movies
Fantasy: Last Place out of 8 Movies

2019 Netflix Ranking:
Last Place out of 11 Movies

Other Films rated 36%
Deck the Halls

Specs:
PEOPLE SCORE (7/20)
Acting (1/4) | Characters (1/4) | Casting (1/4) | Importance (2/4) | Chemistry (2/4)
WRITING SCORE (4/10)
Dialogue (2/2) | Balance (1/2) | Story Depth (0/2) | Originality (0/2) | Interesting (1/2)
BEHIND-THE-SCENES SCORE (6/10)
Visuals (1/2) | Cinematography (1/2) | Editing (1/2) | Advertising (2/2) | Music & Sound (1/2)
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE (7/10)
Introduction (2/2) | Inciting Incident (2/2) | Obstacles (1/2) | Climax (1/2) | Resolution (1/2)
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE (2/10)
Rewatchability (0/2) | Fun Experience (0/2) | Impulse to Buy or Own (0/2) | Impulse to Talk About or Recommend (1/2) | Engaging & Riveting (1/2)
SPECIALTY SCORE (10/40)
Concept (0/10) | Kiernan Shipka) (5/10) | Thriller (0/10) | Halfway Decent (5/10)

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