Quick Hit: Another Stanley Tucci vehicle that fails to live up to his name.
I’m an unapologetic Stanley Tucci fan. I continue to post different movies where he maintains the ability to be good in movies that may not be, and he consistently brings heart and humor to his roles. It’s, therefore, a bit of a shame to have watched a few Tucci films in the past year that didn’t quite land for me. The first was Patient Zero, which started with a good concept but failed in its execution. The second comes in The Silence, today’s film. In a world that feels a bit like a prequel to the smash hit A Quiet Place (more on this in a bit), there’s a lot that is left to be desired.
We start the movie following Ally (Kiernan Shipka of Sabrina and The Blackcoat’s Daughter), a young girl who recently lost her hearing in a car accident. She lives with her father (Stanley Tucci), mother (Miranda Otto), grandmother, and little brother. In short, we have a small family dynamic. The world gets topsy turvy when small pteradon like creatures are released from a cave. They’re deemed “Vesps” and quickly start to overtake the country and eat their way through humanity. The Andrews family runs from the city and eventually finds themselves in a house isolated in the countryside.
If it’s not clear why this feels like a prequel to A Quiet Place, I’m not sure what more I can say.
What I can say is that unlike that gem of a film, which manages to extract tension and family values from a monster movie, this film does not. It uses Ally’s deafness as a means to an end, and frequently at times seems to forget she’s deaf. Her deafness is portrayed as a ringing of the ears, and at times I found myself thinking she was going to go Daredevil and use it as a super power somehow in a fight against creatures that were her opposite. Instead, we slowly slog from one plot point to the next – monsters are bad, but people are worse – Mom is hurt and we need to raid the pharmacy – etc, etc. All of these things feel like things we’ve seen before, right down to vocal sacrifices.
It’s a shame, because the movie itself has some elements that do work. The acting team works with what they’re given, and there are a few tension filled scenes, the best of which finds them locked in their car with a barking dog. The director also gives us some fun ways of fighting these creatures, including a wood chipper. There’s also more than one scene of how humanity is quick to put themselves first – even if it means the loss of humanity that means sacrificing children. It’s these few gems that keep you interested in watching the movie further, but nothing past those is worth more than a shoulder shrug.
It’s always a shame when movies are so similar to each other, because it’s difficult to separate them, when sometimes, production budgets and scripts are totally different and put films on separate playing fields. But regardless, connections form in the human mind as neurons are lit up by things that are similar to what came before. I’m going to give this one a “D”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"