Saturday, April 20, 2019

Movie Review: "The Silence" (2019)

Director: John R. Leonetti
Year: 2019
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

When a swarm of creatures that hunt by sound gets unleashed upon the world, people must learn to live in silence to survive.

The Silence 2019 Netflix movie still Kiernan Shipka
"It's like we're in the Dark Ages." (Image Source)
Netflix's "The Silence" (2019), not to be confused with Ingmar Bergman's "The Silence" (1963), or Baran bo Odar's "The Silence" (2010), or Martin Scorsese's "Silence" (2016), is directed by John R. Leonetti, who has brought us such timeless cinematic classics as "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation," "The Butterfly Effect 2," and "Annabelle." It is written by Shane and Carey Van Dyke, who are known for writing knock-off films like "Street Racer" and "The Day the Earth Stopped." When a group of researchers breaks open an unexplored cave system, it releases a swarm of bat-pterodactyl-like creatures that hunt by sound. These creatures, known as Vesps, begin attacking any noise they hear and quickly start to wipe out populations all over the world. The only way to survive is to be as quiet as possible. This film focuses on the Andrews family, including Hugh and Kelly (Stanley Tucci and Miranda Otto), their young son Jude (Kyle Breitkopf), their deaf teenage daughter Ally (Kiernan Shipka), as well as Grandma Lynn (Kate Trotter) and 'Uncle' Glenn (John Corbett).  They decide to move out of the city and seek safety in more rural (and quiet) areas, though a budding cult of crazies may make finding safety more difficult.
The Silence 2019 Netflix movie Kiernan Shipka Miranda Otto Stanley Tucci
"I know how to live in silence." (Image Source)
The plot of "The Silence" (2019) may sound eerily similar to last year's "A Quiet Place" (2018), right down to the deaf daughter. Some people may even try to call this a rip-off of it. Turns out, the opposite is true considering this film is based on a book that was published a couple of years before the release of John Krasinski's directorial debut. That being said, where "A Quiet Place" (2018) succeeded, "The Silence" (2019) fails in every conceivable manner of speaking. There are so many problems with the narrative. This movie may have been better if the answer to the characters' problems hadn't been so damn obvious. The Andrews family figures out different solutions to their dilemma but fail to utilize them once they do. For example, at one point, a woodchipper gets turned on, and dozens of Vesps fly into it because it's noisy, killing them instantly. Okay! That's a pragmatic, easy fix! Just 'Hands Across America' a line of woodchippers throughout the country and eliminate all the Vesps. Done, simple, no ravaging creatures. NOPE! That'd be too easy! The story also lacks a sense of time. We have no idea how long the swarm has been plaguing populations across the world. Judging by the way the Andrews family looks and acts (Stanley Tucci remains clean-shaven, everyone's hair is perfect, no one eats anything ever), it feels like it has only been a few days, maybe a week tops. We're supposed to believe that a cult of crazies banded together and *SPOILER* cut out their tongues and became rapey and creepy in a matter of days?! *END SPOILER* Since Ally is deaf, the entire Andrews clan can speak in American Sign Language, and ironically, despite knowing how to sign, in a world where silence is literally golden, they won't shut the hell up most the time! They make it a point to let the audience know that Ally can read lips, and while she and everyone she knows starts out using sign language, it is almost completely abandoned midway through the film, which tells us that her disability is merely in the story to be a plot device (that, or it's just poorly handled in the on-screen version). And do you really think everyone's cell phone would stay charged for days/weeks? No! Ugh! There are so many contrived moments and plot holes that contradict established rules within the universe from scene to scene that it made our heads spin.
The Silence 2019 Netflix movie Vesps
"Everyone has their own story, where they were when it happened." (Image Source)
If you're watching a movie and within the first few minutes you can begin to pick it apart until the credits roll, you know you're in trouble. BigJ thought there were a few moments of gore and tension, but I didn't. I was so supremely bored and annoyed by "The Silence" (2019). We still both agree that it's a dull, abysmal, poorly handled waste of time. It's on Netflix so it won't cost you anything extra to watch it, but your time is worth something, trust us. We hate feeling like we're misusing precious minutes of our lives when watching movies, and that's all we could think of as the clock ticked slowly by for the 90 minutes we viewed this. Stanley Tucci and Miranda Otto deserve better at this point in their careers.

My Rating: 1.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 3/10
IMDB's Rating: ~5.3/10
RT Rating: ~28%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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