The Silence Review
Netflix released "Bird Box" at the tail-end of last year, and while it certainly made some kind of mark on popular culture at the time, it has certainly faded. I remember it being a kind of rip-off of the much superior "A Quiet Place." Instead of a world where you can't talk, "Bird Box" was about a world where you can't open your eyes. Oooh! Now in 2019, Netflix has made their own world without sound. It is called "The Silence." Oooh! Real original. I don't know what John Krasinski thought would happen when he made "A Quiet Place," but I bet he would have never guessed that Netflix would be ripping him off left and right.
"The Silence" begins with a bunch of scientist types walking through an old tomb. Of course, in movies like this, scientists are never as smart as they are in real life. Sometimes that can lead to some dumb fun. Other times it can lead to some mind-numbing atrocity. I'll let you decide as you read this review where "The Silence" lies. As these scientist types continue to search through the tomb, they release a species of bat-like creatures thought to be extinct. They viciously kill the people then fly into the night. Then we get an oh-so-familiar opening title sequence, feeling like every other Netflix Original.
Then we meet Ally Andrews (Kiernan Shipka) a teenager who recently became deaf from an accident. She has to deal with bullies, but she's trying to make the best of the bad situation. She's got a loving family and a loving boyfriend. Stanley Tucci plays her father, Hugh and Miranda Otto plays her mother, Kelly. The Andrews also care for Kelly's mom, Lynn (Kate Trotter). This family is living out their life in harmony when they are awoken after 3am to news reports. Seems like something awful is attacking major cities all over the United States. They are being told to stay in their homes and stay silent. So of course, the family doesn't stay put. They try to travel to find a safer place with Hugh's best friend, Glenn (John Corbett). Why they decide to leave the comfort of their homes to find somewhere safer is beyond me.
They eventually find a house, a woman lives there. She is nothing but a red shirt though. What's also mind-boggling is as this poor woman is getting killed by the vesps, the bat-like creatures that got released, the Andrews family never steps in to help her. She just ends up dying, then the family defends themselves. There are so many decisions made in this movie that boggled my mind that it took me out of the movie several times.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg for "The Silence." Stanley Tucci is clearly on auto-pilot, its almost like he knows he's in a bad movie. The movie works like a checklist of all the things we are supposed to see in a movie like this, but its just that, a checklist. It doesn't illuminate its cliches in any real way, or hell even in an entertaining way. Its Kiernan Shipka who is the main star here, and she does what she can. She does the deaf moments of her character fine. It's just that she doesn't really have a character to play. She's a type. Like I said, she's fine, this whole thing would have probably been better if these actors had actual characters to play.
There are also some bad guys. Because of course there are. In an apocalyptic future, there is a leader of a religious cult, who have all cut their tongues out to protect them from the vesps. They want the Andrews family to join them, but Hugh doesn't want to. So the leader of this group, played creepily by Brian MacLellan, tries to attack the Andrews family. He talks about the possible fertility of Ally. Because of course he does. It wouldn't be an apocalyptic future movie without a creepy bad guy trying to rape the best-looking young actress in the movie. But thankfully, that doesn't happen. When the best thing about a movie is that nobody got raped, then something has gone terribly wrong.
FINAL GRADE: D-