Netflix’s The Silence doesn’t live up to potential: Review

Photo Credit: The Silence/Netflix, Acquired From Netflix Media Center
Photo Credit: The Silence/Netflix, Acquired From Netflix Media Center /

Netflix’s The Silence starring Kiernan Shipka and Stanley Tucci has its moments, but overall, it doesn’t live up to its potential.

The Silence is Netflix’s latest dance into the macabre. Directed by John R. Leonetti, The Silence follows a family as they fight for survival in a world where new bat-like creatures that hunt by sound alone have been discovered in a cave and accidentally released by spelunkers.

The Silence stars Stanley Tucci, Kiernan Shipka, Miranda Otto, and Kyle Breitkopf as the main members of the struggling family. You may recognize the names of Shipka and Otto from Netflix’s original series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Tucci has been in numerous films and really brings the most acting clout. The Silence is Kyle Breitkopf’s fourth feature film. Leonetti may be familiar due to his directorial debut with Annabelle. He has previously spent a lot of time working with the renown horror director James Wan.

Unfortunately for Leonetti, he does not really make the same quality of the film as his mentor. The Silence seems almost like a cheap cousin to the John Krasinski-directed A Quiet Place. The similarities go all the way down to having a deaf daughter in both films, and the main goal is to try to prove the father’s love of that daughter.

More from Netflix Originals

The Silence is a bit too disjointed, though. It does the idea of “lets hit every emotional note to get the viewer to stay interested” instead of building a relationship to explore the feeling of love, loss, and renewed relationships. It seems like Leonetti got an idea that would have worked better as a series but compacted it into one 90-minute horror flop.

I will say that I found the acting of Tucci and Shipka to be respectable individually, but they felt awkward as a father-daughter combination. They both did a good job when not interacting with each other. When they were supposed to have emotional bonding moments or emotional struggles with each other, neither had chemistry. This caused a big point in the film to just fall flat.

I was already convinced of Tucci’s talent, but this role helped me to see that Shipka has something special too. It helped to define her unique awkwardness in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as something nuanced to that character. If I were to guess, I would say that her performance will help to show that she isn’t a one trick pony and can actually perform a bit more varied of a role.

What I mean by this is that Shipka has some impressive acting spots when she does a good job being the damsel, which is the exact opposite of what she does as Sabrina Spellman.

There was some interesting stuff at play here. Really, it just felt like Leonetti had a bunch of ideas he wanted to use and slammed it into one fairly short film to feel like he did a good job. The CGI creatures, which we had learned earlier are called vesps, are not very convincing either. I wish they had used more practical effects for them. The quality of CGI was only good when the creatures were moving fast, which was a lot of the time, but anytime they stopped and were being used to just stand there, they had a cartoonish look to them.

The Silence tries way too hard to combine a bunch of elements that would have been more impactful had they been separated. It seemed like the weaker version of A Quiet Place and borrowed way too much from that film to really impact me at all. I would give it 2 out of 5 stars.

Next. 25 best Netflix movies to watch in April 2019. dark