The premise of the apocalyptic thriller THE SILENCE sounds familiar, but how does the film about a world in which you can’t say much so that bloodthirsty monsters don’t find you? We reveal this in our review.
The Plot Summary
When an archaeological expedition discovered a previously unknown species of parasite in an inaccessible cave system in North America, no one had any idea how dangerous this species, called a “wasp,” actually was. But once released, these prehistoric monsters not only mutate and multiply, but soon also attack people. They find their victims thanks to their fine hearing: even the slightest noise attracts countless numbers of them. The once loud world falls silent. The deaf Ally (Kiernan Shipka) and her family retreat into the woods because the only way to survive is in complete silence. But danger also comes from other people, as the family soon learns: in the ruthless fight for survival, every noise is a potential death sentence. And then a menacing cult crosses their path that is targeting Ally of all people…
Explanation of the Ending
One could almost speak of a trend, but the genesis of “A Quiet Place”, “Bird Box” and “The Silence” overlap too much in time for one of them to be “just” a copycat. John Krasinski’s film about an alien-infested world in which people can only survive if they don’t make a sound was certainly there first – and was such a success that a sequel is now even planned. At the same time, “Bird Box” and “The Silence,” which were created after this megahit, are based on novels that have already been written before “A Quiet Place” was written; and in the case of “The Silence”, the production planning even took place when people didn’t even know “Hear nothing, see nothing, say nothing” represents an audience-appealing premise in genre films. Somehow several people seem to have had similar ideas in quick succession. Either way: With “The Silence”, the strongest representative of the three is now coming to cinemas, quite surprisingly, although it also has its problems. Now we’re also one of the few who didn’t really like “A Quiet Place” and “Bird Box” – well, let’s leave it alone…
The sinister sect “The Silent Ones”.
As the name suggests, “The Silence” is also about not making much noise if possible, so that death-bringing creatures in the form of bloodthirsty prehistoric birds don’t finish you off. This would immediately bring us to one of the core problems with “The Silence”: there is nothing good about the bird creatures and unless they are sitting in flocks on high-voltage pylons (Hitchcock’s birds say hello!) and waiting with their supernaturally well-trained eavesdroppers, Whatever target they have to attack next, their similarity to the exploding bird monsters from the trash classic “Birdemic” makes them look pretty hideous (and not in a good way). In any case, they aren’t scary in close-up. But especially in the swarms in question – which also like to circle in huge formations in the sky – they exude a very unique, unsettling atmosphere, so that from a distance they at least represent an antagonist that can be taken seriously. In any case, the protagonists in “The Silence” are far more convincing than the villains, because surprisingly – at least by horror film standards – they act smart and far-sighted, which is why it’s actually a real shame when, in some scenes, despite all the precautions taken, evil wins.
Led by Stanley Tucci, whose selection of roles now ranges from character dramas à la “Child Welfare” to pompous blockbuster entertainment like “Transformers” to B-home movies like “Patient Zero”, he acts as the head of a family that somehow tries to survive in the apocalyptic chaos. to do everything right and who, thanks to skill and overview, manages to do this most of the time. This even goes so far that the script by Carey and Shane van Dyke (“Chernobyl Diaries”) can allow a few humorous tips without threatening to collapse the oppressive atmosphere. Here, tongue-in-cheek moments arise primarily from the circumstances and never from deliberately written gags – irony of fate, so to speak; And thanks to their convincing performances, the actors are able to hold the narrative construct together. However, the script does not always exploit the full potential of the characters: for example, at the beginning of the film it is established that the deaf-mute Ally’s functioning senses are particularly sharpened, although this only really comes into play in two scenes: firstly, she recognizes the Fells, how tense the family dog is at the moment and another time the first idea that comes to her mind is how to escape from a supermarket infested with bird monsters. There would have been a lot more possible here, because you don’t really understand why the character is deaf and dumb in the first place.
Ally (Kiernan Shipka) and Hugh (Stanley Tucci) explore an abandoned town in search of medicine and food.
By the way, it’s also hard to understand what the makers were thinking about the developments in the second half. When a fanatical religious cult appears out of nowhere and takes advantage of the scenario to spread its crude philosophy to the people, “The Silence” completely loses its focus. It’s a nice message that the “man versus nature” premise ultimately becomes a “man versus man” film. Nevertheless, the part about the frightening cult leader seems like it was hammered into the film with a crowbar and – unlike the humor inserts already mentioned – almost completely collapses the previously established flair of the film (even if without him it is one of the strongest scenes in the film , keyword: smartphones, didn’t even exist). That’s a shame, because director John R. Leonetti otherwise has a sense of tension and mood that has already been demonstrated in the “Conjuring” films, for which he directed the camera, and his directorial work “Annabelle”. “The Silence” looks and sounds good. It’s a shame that the erratic story can’t always keep up and the clever characters can’t completely compensate for the much less smart developments.
Conclusion: “The Silence” is smarter than “A Quiet Place”, more exciting than “Bird Box”, but far less well-crafted and falls off significantly towards the end. Of the three films mentioned here, it is by far the strongest – especially thanks to Stanley Tucci in the lead role.
“The Silence” can be seen in USA cinemas from May 16th.