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Netflix's new horror movie The Silence is so bad you'll be cheering for the monsters to win.

There is plenty to critique about Netflix’s newest horror offering The Silence, but please don’t resort to calling it a rip-off of A Quiet Place.

Mostly because that would be an incorrect piece of criticism to throw their way, because the book on which the movie is based, the 2015 horror novel of the same name by Tim Lebbon, was published long before A Quiet Place started playing at the cinema.

There’s also a whole lot wrong with this sub-standard horror flick that has nothing to do with plagiarism, but we’ll get to all that in just a moment.

At first glance, The Silence looks like a highly promising movie, mostly due to the fact that it features a crazy talented cast in Kiernan Shipka, Stanley Tucci, Miranda Otto and John Corbett. But it quickly becomes very clear that the budget for this movie was pretty much dished out into star-studded salaries when it was desperately needed in scripting and story development.

Take a look at the trailer for The Silence.

In The Silence, Kiernan Shipka stars as Ally Andrews, a 16-year-old teenage girl who lost her hearing at 13 and monotonously narrates the opening scenes of the film by saying “everyone has their story of how it happened, this is our story.”

The trouble all starts when a research team descend into a cave and accidentally unleash an unknown species of vicious bat-like creatures known as “Vesps”.

The Vesps swarm across the US and quickly start infesting cities, including the one where Ally, her parents Hugh (Stanley Tucci) and Kelly (Miranda Otto), her grandmother Lynn (Kate Trotter) and her little brother Jude (Kyle Harrison Breitkopf), all live.

Now free from their cave prison, the Vesps decide that the best use of their time is to murder the entire human race by ripping the flesh from their bones while they all scream in agony. After video footage of a mum cowering in her car and holding up a sign that reads ‘don’t make noise’, with her toddler’s mouth covered in tape, goes viral, people soon realise that the creatures are blind and attracted to sound.

Ally and her family decide that staying in the city would be a very poor life choice, as all the sounds are sure to attract the creatures to them, so they jump in their car and attempt to find safety in isolation, which doesn’t exactly go to plan.

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I’m assuming that making the character of Ally deaf was a way to give this family an edge in the silent apocalypse, but they actually fail to really put this plot point to good use. In many moments throughout The Silence, the family seem to forget at very crucial life and death moments that they all know sign language and so resort to whispering. Which of course draws the monstrous little creatures right to them.

Since the Andrews family are incredibly morose and, I’m just going to say it, also a little bit stupid, it’s actually difficult to watch this movie and root for their survival. In many scenes I actually found myself cheering for the little Vesps to win over the somewhat boring humans they are happily hunting down, since they’re actually quite adorable once you get to know them. Like little flesh-eating chihuahuas with wings.

Even though the movie is meant to chronicle the very early days of an apocalypse, as in the first 48 hours, the film seems quite poorly paced and therefore things escalate very quickly. While hiding out in a deserted home, owned by a woman they watch get torn to shreds by the Vesps, Ally and her family are hunted down by a cult of people who apparently have cut out their tongues to avoid making noise and are now after human sacrifices.

Now, I don’t exactly know how the whole timeline of an apocalypse-formed cult is supposed to run, but I feel this whole plot line has accelerated things just a little bit. Like, it’s a little fast and lose to cut your tongue out on day two of an apocalypse, you know? They probably should have just sat with that decision for a day or two before reaching for the knife.

While the creatures in The Silence are not exactly terrifying, there are moments in the film that made my stomach turn, mostly because they dared to stray into territory most movies are smart enough to avoid. Let’s just say that if you had to think of the two companions who would be the worst team members to have along when trying to escape in silence, you would probably say ‘baby’ and ‘dog’.

So I won’t give away what happens when the Andrews’ dog can’t stop barking, or when a baby hiding with its family can’t stop crying, but I’m sure you can use your imagination…

The Silence is not a great horror movie, but it’s passable Saturday afternoon entertainment if you’re into that kind of thing.

And, hey, at least the monsters are cute.

The Silence is available to watch now on Netflix, it is rated MA15+.

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