Directed by: #JohnRLeonetti
Imagine a story where a family is attempting to survive the outbreak of a vicious creature that hunts anything that makes noise. Yep, that's the premise of A Quiet Place. But it's also the premise of new #Netflix movie The Silence, where instead of quick-limbed monsters scuttling across the ground, it's bat-like pests flying in from the sky.
Stanley Tucci heads the family in The Silence but it's his character's daughter Ally (a terrific Kiernan Shipka) who takes centre stage. Having lost her hearing several years ago, she has already adapted to a world without noise, as did her family who can now use sign language. When the outbreak of these decibel dementors occurs, the family pack up and attempt to flee, only to be scuppered by traffic, steep verges, and Nana's medical conditions (Kate Trotter).
Whilst this apocalyptic disaster movie shares a lot of DNA with #JohnKrasinski's flawless masterpiece, The Silence also borrows from other classic movies, such as #AlfredHitchcock's The Birds and #FrankMarshall's Arachnophobia (I still can't stand spiders, scarred for life). There is even a little of #MNightShyamalan's 2008 The Happening, of which The Silence is probably most comfortable being mentioned with, in terms of cinematic pedigree.
It's clunky and contrived fare but not without its thrills. A sequence involving a woodchipper was splendid and the atmosphere was well curated by director John R. Leonetti. The family chemistry was particularly enthralling, with Lord of the Rings veteran Miranda Otto giving a memorable turn as the mother and newcomer Kyle Breitkopf falling in as the son.
The movie's thematic thuggishness cannot be missed. This is a film telling the audience to buck up their ideas and change their ways otherwise mother nature is gonna lay a smackdown. And this is fine until you consider the odd plot twist in the final third (which I won't spoil) which I assume comes from Tim Lennon's novel of which the Netflix movie is based on. This pretty much derails the film and parks it squarely in the camp with all the other forgettable #dystopian output.
Pray silence for Tucci (as glorious as ever) and his band of worthy family members and keep schtum for their great chemistry and performances, but make a clangor about the formulaic plot, the unoriginality, and that unspeakable story development involving Billy MacLellan.