Combining the intellectual tension of the sublime A Quiet Place with a B-list, beastie back story straight out of the 3D Piranha remake, Netflix once again seems to have found itself another middle of the road genre movie to pad out it’s content. It’s not like we haven’t gone to this before, and fairly resently too with the flawed Bird Box also riffing heavily on John Krasinski’s thoughtful modern masterpiece to decidedly derivative effect.
A legion of mutated, prehistoric super bats are accidently released from a cavern and descend upon North America in numbers too huge to add up. These creatures react purely to sound, travels in swarms and strip their victims to the bone in seconds once they open their big yaps. Stanley Tucci and his family ignore the warnings on the news and leaves their home in order to find a quieter refuge, however some members have ailments that either benefit or hinder their journey. The daughter, for example is deaf and therefore states that she knows how to live in silence (illogical seeing as she can’t hear if she’s making noise) while the grandmother has a lung deficiency due to terminal cancer and you can be assured both are used to numerous effect. However, endless swarms of flesh eating bat creatures and remembering to turn the volume down on your phone aren’t the only inconveniences in this savage new world as a cult who seemingly and improbably have popped up overnight want the daughter in order to help them survive.
Despite being resolutely straight faced in the face of monster bats and the notion that an entire country could go tits up in under 24 hours thanks to what amounts to a vermin infestation, The Silence cannot wallpaper over the fact that it’s a pretty fucking stupid movie. Stalwarts Tucci, Miranda Otto and John Corbett do their best to look serious even though virtually everything stubbornly refuses to make a lick of sense. Why on earth would the cultists cut their tongues out when it isn’t the tongue that makes noise, why does the woman living alone out in the woods have no idea that killer bats have been tearing up the country for a whole day and why did the filmmakers get the bizarre notion that vast numbers of killer bats simply wasnt enough to fill a 90 minute film with enough threat hence the tacked on cult subplot.
It’s a wonder to me why Netflix keeps buying up all these sub par movies about the end of the world as they are all beginning to feel the bloody same and it’s really starting to grate.
The Silence is a fitting title for a film whose quality is nothing to shout about.