Oh, Stanley Tucci. You’re a respectable actor, man. Who in Hollywood has got illicit photos of you? And if so, being seen in those can’t possibly be worse than being seen in The Silence.
Netflix’s newest entry into the “if you X, then the Y’s will getcha” sub-genre of dystopian thriller movies seeks to blend the tension of A Quiet Place with the ridiculousness of Bird Box. And unfortunately, it succeeds in doing exactly that. If you’ve seen A Quiet Place, you’ve seen this. A better version of this, actually, and A Quiet Place was a two and a half out of five stars effort in and of itself. The Silence is kinda like AQP, if everyone were somehow even stupider. You’ll go hoarse with the amount of times you yell “Why don’t they ______?” at the screen. Scenes that were very tense and only slightly ludicrous in AQP, are flat-out hilarious in this flick. Try to keep from laughing when the old lady storms out of her house yelling and screaming, only to be piranha-fied by these flying terrors.
Tucci plays dad to Ally (Netflix’s very own Sabrina), the girl who’s supposed to be the star of the film. Ally went deaf a few years ago, and the rest of the family has learned ASL, kinda, to communicate with her, even though she can apparently read lips. Some schmoes dug into a deep cavern and freed a race of ravenous bat-like creatures who pounce upon anything and everything that makes noise. Except when they don’t. And they always attack in swarms. Except when they don’t. These creatures, called vesps, also breed inside the bodies of other mammals, which makes you wonder how the hell they were able to procreate when they were sealed inside the earth.
Some joker in a turtleneck approaches Ally and Dad while they’re in town scoring drugs for Mom’s festering leg wound (don’t worry, she’s back to fighting strength instantly). He’s some kind of cult leader, and he calls his flock “The Hushed.” He and his followers have all had their tongues cut off (never mind that it’s the larynx, not the tongue, that produces mouth sounds), and they want Ally to join them because she’s “fertile.” Ew. Anyway, they’re dealt with quickly by Dad and the family in what we’re expected to believe was a noiseless fight to the death. Plot contrivances lead them to a safe haven, unimaginatively called “The Refuge,” where life can begin anew. I think?
Based on a book by Tim Lebbon, and adapted for the screen by Dick Van Dyke’s grandson, The Silence should’ve just kept mum. Zero out of five stars.