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“The Silence” Review: A Poor Man’s “A Quiet Place”

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“The Silence” Review: A Poor Man’s “A Quiet Place”

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It is hard to set yourself apart in a world of cliches, especially in the film industry. The Silence is one of many additions to the popular “creature horror” genre that has recently become popular in film, but falls flat on its face when compared to the ‘parent’ movie of the genre: A Quiet Place. Both follow a family with a deaf child surviving monsters that hunt entirely on sound. Both families must learn to adapt in the wake of society’s collapse as well as protect each other from the monsters that threaten both their safety and sanity.

When it comes to the monsters, the only difference is that The Silence features poorly animated CGI bat monsters while A Quiet Place takes a more creative look on its creatures: A gray humanoid covered in eardrums and tough skin. The Silence follows a much more immediate telling of the apocalypse: A family must find shelter in the north while avoiding the monsters, dubbed ‘vesps,’ and a cult that threatens their daughter. A Quiet Place takes place over a year into the apocalypse with hardened survivors and monsters that have quickly adapted to hunting down what is left of humans. Both movies feature a deaf child, The Silence‘s protagonist being the deaf teenager Ally (Kieran Shipka) while A Quiet Place follows the father of the family, Lee Abbott (John Krasinski).

So, what sets these two protagonist apart? Krasinski’s character actually is not deaf, but does speak ASL to compensate for his daughter Regan’s (Millicent Simmonds) hearing disability. Ally is deaf herself, although she can read lips instead of using ASL. The dividing line between Krasinski’s character and Shipka’s are in their motivations and writing. Ally’s only motivation seems to be survive for a teenage crush that bears little impact on the plot while Krasinski fights to protect his family after already having one lost child. Krasinski is relatable in anyone’s passion and love for their loved ones while Ally seems to be targeted more for the teenage demographic, isolating her viewers with an unnecessary teenage romance that feels bare-bones and poorly portrayed.

It should be noted that Krasinski also served as the director of the film and worked with several deaf production members including the actress Simmonds herself to properly portray the usage of ASL and how a family with a child impaired by a hearing disability would interact. In A Quiet Place, there is constant use of proper ASL and little talking, the movie is notable for its representation of deaf actors and careful attention to the experience of the deaf community. Compare this to The Silence, which constantly shifts from poorly performed ASL to lipreading that does not translate well to many viewers. While Simmonds did learn ASL for the role, there are several grammatical errors in her signing as well as plot holes in how the character read lips, such as being able to read lips of the characters several meters away or in the dark.

Similarities aside, The Silence does manage to stand on its own as a film, but not in a good way. Instead, the film feels shoddily made with unnecessary plot devices thrown out in nearly every part of the film. The deaths in the film feel unimportant and vastly predictable, with the main “villain” of the film failing to come off as frightening and instead seems silly. The Reverend (Billy MacLellan) leads cult of tongueless survivors in an attempt to kidnap Ally. Their motivations are unclear and they only show up for the last quarter of the film and having nearly no impact on the plot whatsoever. The performances in the film are poorly done, there are several films of useless exposition or unneeded overdramatic scenes. The screenplay is tedious and constantly breaks its rules, such as the main one of no talking, and fails to establish any actual good relationship between the characters.

The Silence fails in nearly every aspect as a horror film as is barely passable as a Netflix original. It falls flat on its face multiple times and leaves the viewer thinking at the end of the movie, “That’s it?” Instead of wasting your time on this film, check out Netflix’s unique creature horror flick: Bird Box.

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About the Writer
Hugo Vizcaya-Zingg, Copy-Editor



Hugo Vizcaya-Zingg is a Junior at RHS and the Copy-Editor for the 2018-2019 Stinger Staff.

His Zodiac sign is Virgo, he has an unhealthy obsession...

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