Netflix’s ‘The Silence’ falls short in psychological thriller genre


Courtesy of IMDb

Hannah Kopek, Sports Editor

A Quiet Place meets Bird Box in Netflix’s new psychological thriller “The Silence”. This apocalypse now film follows a family from suburban Pennsylvania as they try to escape an onslaught of prehistoric pterodactyls who escape from a previously undiscovered cave. Unfortunately, the plot conveniences begin when the main character, Ally (Kiernan Shipka), shares that she is deaf.

The most stunning part of this film was the amount of sign language used. From what I could tell – with my limited understanding of the language – was that the signs used looked to be accurate. I like to give props to actors who take the time to learn another language, like sign language, for a role.

The director, John R. Leonetti, did a fantastic job at pulling us back to the theme: sacrifice. One after another, difficult choices were made in order to advance the group’s survival. Artistic choices by Leonetti showcased the price of the family’s survival in intelligently artistic panoramas and focused shots. However I was surprised to see his name in the credits of what I felt was a mediocre movie after he has produced works such as Insidious and The Conjuring.

On the other hand, the majority of the film fell below my expectations. Because there is a highly competitive market for thrillers like these, I expected something that was going to knock my socks off – especially after seeing A Quiet Place and Bird Box. However, the CGI was average, and the script was lackluster. Chemistry between the “family” was limited, not only by the writing, but also by the fact that the plot centered around the weaker members being picked off one by one.

Moreover, the plot felt very patriarchal. The group started off with two strong male characters, the father (Stanley Tucci) and his best friend (John Corbett), and the first to get picked off was the friend, making the stereotypical “the man is the head of the family” arc come to life. Even the leader of the cult (Billy MacLelland), which ended up being a minor plot disturbance, was a male.

If I had to choose two words to describe this film, it would be (1.) Plot and (2.) Conveniences. A close second would be trite and cliche. By borrowing massively similar elements from thrillers that preceded it, this film took what had the potential to be epic, and morphed it into something disappointing.

I give this film 2/5 stars.