Arts, Features

REVIEW: Netflix’s ‘The Silence’ is yet another forgettable mess

Netflix released a new original horror film called “The Silence” on April 10. COURTESY OF NETFLIX MEDIA

At this point, it seems very likely Netflix simply does not care about an entire portion of its content.

The company is well-aware they can get away with producing bottom of the barrel trash so long as they continue to capture the attention of audiences with well-received projects such as “Stranger Things” and “Bird Box.”

No one was eagerly anticipating “The Silence.” In fact, it’s hard to imagine anyone even knew what “The Silence” was until a day before its release.

“The Silence” does exist, though. And the world of movies would be just a little bit better if it didn’t.

Its premise — a deaf girl and her family must struggle to survive in a world under attack from creatures that hunt based off of sound  — is one of the most shockingly blatant rip-offs of a better film in recent memory.

That film, for those who haven’t seen it, is “A Quiet Place,” which incidentally also features villainous monsters that hunt based off of sound and also has a young, deaf protagonist.

Maybe Netflix wanted this to fly under the radar so they wouldn’t get sued for plagiarism.

To its credit, “The Silence” does attempt to do something different from its inspiration by incorporating the additional threat of an evil cult. But anyone who has seen any post-apocalyptic movie or show ever will quickly realize that the idea of humans as a greater threat than the monsters, while not stolen from “A Quiet Place,” is far from original.

The production value of this film is about what you would expect from a bottom-tier Netflix movie. Stanley Tucci is the only actor who gives a modicum of effort while everyone else either sleepwalks through their performance or is just downright bad.

There has been worse CGI than the CGI used to bring the monsters in this film — called vesps — to life, but it is certainly far from great. The creatures themselves are extremely generic and once again are impossible to take seriously due to being obvious rip-offs.

This movie alternates between being incredibly boring and entertaining for how slapped together it feels. By the end, the boredom has overpowered any sort of entertainment value, and the entire experience feels like a gigantic waste of time.

Every beat in the story can be predicted from a mile away, and to add insult to injury, the film’s ending is incredibly lazy.

It is reminiscent of the “House of Cards” series finale — another rushed, sloppy production from Netflix made worse by the fact that it was once a great show — in that it feels like it simply stops instead of coming to any sort of satisfying conclusion.

However, it is difficult to get too angry at films such as this. In all likelihood, a maximum of 10 people across the globe will watch this movie, and then it will be forgotten permanently.

Still, it is frustrating to think money and time is being wasted to constantly churn out movies like “The Silence” when those resources could be better utilized toward a “quality over quantity” approach.

HBO is a great example of this concept in action. They only produce a handful of TV shows and movies per year, but more often than not they are met with high anticipation and critical acclaim.

It is hard to imagine Netflix ever having a success on the level of HBO’s TV series “Game of Thrones” or “The Sopranos” because the company would rather throw whatever they can at the wall and see what sticks.

“The Silence” is certainly not something that will stick. It is one of those movies that is so bland to the point where one would be hard-pressed to find anything redeemable to say about it.

And at the end of the day, though, there will be more movies like “The Silence.”

One only need look at Netflix’s upcoming release schedule to see how this is true. It is fortunate for the company that they have built up plenty of goodwill from their early years when they were seen as far more prestigious and a legitimate competitor to networks such as HBO.

At the very least, “The Silence” does have a target audience. That would be the people who scroll through Netflix looking for something to watch on a rainy Saturday and then find something they can turn on as background noise.

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