I’m going to cut the introductory fluff here and get down to the nitty-gritty. I did something I don’t normally do when setting out to review a film – After viewing Netflix’s latest horror, THE SILENCE, I hopped online to see what film critics were saying about it. A largely negative response, which I can understand given that it IS a horror movie and people that aren’t horror fans tend to not be too fond of horror films. Y’all know that when they do, they will pull meaningless terms out of a hat to call it anything BUT horror, but that is beside the point.
Why aren’t people digging THE SILENCE? It is too much like A Quiet Place. It is a less elevated Birdbox. Okay, sure, it shares similarities in the plot – The world falls victim to ancient, winged creatures that are attracted to sound, forcing humans to be silent. I get it. But hear me out – Much like Birdbox, THE SILENCE was based on a novel that predated both the aforementioned films. Yeah, you can side-eye Netflix for releasing it likely due to the success of the sister films, but why would you criticize a company for being smart? Y’all miss the glory days of the ’80s so much, how many rehashed slashers did we see back then? Trends exist in horror, if they didn’t we wouldn’t have a surplus of found footage films in the ’00s. Anyway, forgive my relentless, passion-fuelled rambling. Let’s talk about this movie!
As aforementioned, this film is a creature feature and it satiated a hunger that Birdbox left me with. Call me old fashioned, but I’ve always been of the mind that monster movies should show the damn thing. I’m not into the whole imagination business (I blame this on seeing John Carpenter’s The Thing at a young age), and THE SILENCE left very little to be compensated for. These creepy, wasp/pterodactyl looking hybrids are called Vesps, and they ravage the hell out of their prey. I’m talking some serious gore here folks, which is another complaint I keep seeing. Since when did horror fans stop loving blood geysers shooting out of a wood chipper?! I love this community, but man, it confuses me sometimes!
Gore aside, the story here is truly impenetrable from inception. My attention was gripped immediately, as the unveiling of the cave-dwelling, ancient Vesps brought back the same feeling ignited within me upon viewing The Descent over a decade ago. Furthering my nostalgia, the chaos unfolding felt very much attuned to that in Cloverfield. As I write this I am coming to realize that perhaps this is why I enjoyed THE SILENCE so much. It brought back a very specific window of time in the horror genre, one that was essential to my development as a film fanatic – Monster movies that threw away the schlock, and overdosed on emotional depth. I cared about these characters, I invested in them much like I had those in The Mist many moons ago. I know I’ll never be able to experience any of these films for the first time ever again, which is a saddening realization, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t admit that this felt near to it.
So now that I’ve spewed forth my overwhelming emotions at you, I guess all I really ask is for you to not write this off as some low budget rip-off because it truly is an entirely different beast. Apples to oranges, or however the saying goes. THE SILENCE is now available to stream on Netflix.