the silence

1/5 stars 

No, Netflix. No. Stop it. Invest that money on something more substantial – like new “Black Mirror” episodes – because “The Silence” left me speechless from how bad it was.  

A team of researchers breaks into a cave far below the Appalachian Trail, unknowingly unleashing an unknown pre-historic species resembling bats referred to as "vesps” into the world. The vesps kill the researchers, then head out to find new victims.  

Ally Andrews (Kiernan Shipka) is a deaf high schooler who lost her hearing along with her paternal grandparents in a car accident. She lives with her father Hugh (Stanley Tucci), mother Kelly (Miranda Otto), brother Jude (Kyle Harrison Breitkopf), terminally ill maternal grandmother Lynn (Kate Trotter)who is conveniently a nurse, and dog Otis.  

The film follows the family as they try to find shelter from the vesps, who begin killing everyone. A video reveals the vesps find their prey through sound, and news broadcasts warn everyone to stay inside and silent. The family decides to flee the city along with Hugh’s best friend, Glenn (John Corbett). Ally is forced to say goodbye to her boyfriend Rob (Dempsey Bryk) as her and her family try to survive.  

It’s an ensemble cast of pure talent. Though I find her dull, Shipka has been demonstrating her acting skills since she was a tot in the critically acclaimed “Mad Men,” and more recently alongside Otto in “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.” Tucci is a phenomenal actor whose repertoire includes friendly neighborhood serial killer and razzle-dazzler. So, where did it go so wrong? Let’s dive in.  

First, the concept and script were awful. The movie – although based on 2015 novel of the same name by Tim Lebbon – came off as a ripped up mash up of “A Quiet Place” and “Bird Box.” If you’re going to do post-apocalyptic horror when there are so many other movies on the market, you better do it well. And they didn’t. 

I also have to talk about Glenn (John Corbett), Hugh’s best friend. He is so loyal that the first thing he does during the apocalypse is go over to his best friend’s house. When his knockoff Range Rover tumbles down in the forest and he is trapped, he wants Hugh to leave to save his family. Glenn ultimately sacrifices himself to save the Andrews family. Glenn’s character is obviously based on a golden retriever.  

And on that note, the fact that Hugh let Otis – Ally’s loyal and perfect dog who did absolutely nothing wrong but try to protect his family – out of the car to be eaten by the vesps is absolutely unforgivable and the truest form of evidence that should the apocalypse come, most humans deserve to die. This was the only part of the movie that evoked any emotion.  

Now, the secondary villain – the reverend (Billy MacLellan) and his cult. During the apocalypse, people will do anything to survive, as demonstrated by the crowd that runs the mom with her baby off the train car, leaving them to die. But the reverend recruiting people, cutting out their tongues and getting them to do his bidding twenty-four hours into the apocalypse is far-fetched.  

The reverend’s interest iAllys fertilityPeople are being eaten by giant bats and he’s presumably concerned with the survival of the species, or rather, having sex with and impregnating young women and girls. Was he a real reverend or an opportunist? One of the girls in the cult is about eight. Major pedophile vibes there. He should’ve been killed off sooner. 

This movie is a mess. Watch at your own discretion, but really, why waste approximately two hours on this when you could be watching season eight of “Game of Thrones” or “Homecoming?”  

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