The Silence (2019) – Summary, Review (with Spoilers)

The Silence (2019) - Title Card
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Remember how lucky/prepared the families were in Bird Box & A Quiet Place? Imagine a family who wasn’t as fortunate going through a similar apocalypse.


Director(s) John R. Leonetti
Screenplay By Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke
Date Released 4/10/2019
Genre(s) Drama, Fantasy
Good If You Like People Not Prepped For Survival In Apocalyptic Conditions

Named Characters Dying

Actually Seeing The Monster

Isn’t For You If You Want Something Beyond a Popcorn Movie
Noted Cast
Ally Kiernan Shipka
Glenn John Corbett
Lynn Kate Trotter
The Reverend Billy MacLellan
Hugh Stanley Tucci
Kelly Miranda Otto
Jude Kyle Breitkopf

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Plot Summary | Character Breakdown on Page 2

Somewhere in the depths of the Appalachian Mountain apparently are bat-like beings, named Vesps. For ages, they were sealed off but thanks to two explorers, they were unleashed onto the eastern United States coast. Leaving hundreds, thousands, maybe millions, dead. However, no matter how many died during the outbreak, Ally and her family plan to survive. Thanks to their uncle Glenn, who seems to have military experience, combined with her grandmother Lynn, who used to a nurse, they could survive.

However, as with any apocalyptic situation, sometimes the monsters aren’t the main thing you have to worry about. It can also be your fellow human, religious zealots like The Reverend, for example, who becomes a bigger threat than any swarth of demonic looking beings. Yet, together, could Ally, her father Hugh, mother Kelly, Jude, and the rest of her family and friends survive?

You gotta watch to find out.

 

Highlights

We Got To See The Monster

A vesp on top of the family minivan.

When it came to Bird Box, what arguably were angels were never seen. We saw drawings and what might have been concept art, but not the real thing. The Silence shows us the monster, and while it wasn’t something that will haunt the average person’s nightmares, it’s nice being able to know what everyone feared.

It Felt More Real This Go Around

With the two movies this often will be compared to, Bird Box and A Quiet Place, we are either dropped into after the madness ended or are given an extremely lucky group of people. In The Silence, Ally’s family doesn’t seem all that lucky, prepared, or any of that. They seem like the family which panicked and got themselves killed. Which adds a bit of flavor to what could have seen like a bandwagon film.

For with the first death in the movie, it sort of puts you on edge since, if that person could end up dead, by a simple mistake, what are the chances for everyone else? And mind you, multiple mistakes are made, and not all of them are fixed with quick thinking. Thus giving us a film which recognizes you can’t always have the most resolute person or family focused on. Sometimes you got to feature those who had to lose quite a bit in order for at least one to survive.

We Got To See How It Started

What caused what happened in Bird Box and A Quiet Place is virtually unknown. We just know hell is on earth. However, in The Silence, we get the answer to how things started, someone to blame, and get to see the early days and how things were weeks, if not months after. And while origin stories aren’t anything new, omitting them does slightly take away from the story.

On The Fence

Was The Reverend Necessary?

The Reverend (Billy MacLellan) watching Ally and Hugh.
The Reverend (Billy MacLellan)

Considering how much Ally’s family was struggling, The Reverend and his Flock of the Hushed seemed like overkill. Add on how late they arrive in the movie, and it makes it seem they were added just so this could hit that usual 90-minute mark. Since, with little development on who they are, where their commune is, and things of that nature, while we get a sense of what their motivation is, anything beyond that is nil.

Don’t Expect The Best Performances Out Of This

While Bird Box and A Quiet Place have their detractors, you cannot deny Sandra Bullock’s performance or the cast’s performance in their respective movies. In The Silence, you get adequate performances. There isn’t that much in the way of emotion, even fear, which will capture your attention. Pretty much, the driving point for me would be that you like this actor or that actor and so you plan to watch this to see if they survive. There is no losing yourself in the characters or nothing like that.

Overall: Mixed (Divisive) | Available on Netflix

Ally (Kiernan Shipka) at the end of the movie killing Vesp.
Ally (Kiernan Shipka)

This is a popcorn movie. It doesn’t have much depth, probably won’t be remembered within 6 months, but it’s something fun to watch. It has recognizable stars you want to root for, hope to see live until the end, and a few surprising deaths you may not expect. But as for being something which will leave you in awe, be something you say is so and so’s best work? Nope. I honestly don’t think that, if this wasn’t part of the Netflix package, most would even see this.

Hence the mixed label. The Silence is actor-driven more than character or story driven. So if one of your favorite actors aren’t in this movie, I could imagine you losing interest easily. Add on a rather weak villain and the deaths only up the ante but so much and you get a movie which would likely flop in theaters yet will probably be a Netflix hit.

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