By Tamsin Mathias
I’m not a fan of zombie films, but I love a film with an apocalyptic edge. So, when I saw the trailer for The Silence, I was hooked immediately. I grabbed the PS4 controller and stuck it on.
Immediately after being shown the ‘monsters’ in the first scene, we’re introduced to the Andrews family. A family who have learned how to communicate through sign language after their 16-year-old daughter Ally (Kiernan Shipka) lost her hearing whe she was 13.
Ally is an intelligent young person who is well read, and has a long-distance relationship with Rob (Dempsey Bryk), who she talks to through video calls.
News spreads of a deadly primeval species that resemble bats, that have lived underground in the darkness for millions of years. They are blind, but they can hear, and their hearing is so sensitive that even the slightest noise will alert them to your presence, and the more noise you make, the stronger the attack.
I always prefer thrillers to horrors, but there are some real horror moments with this film that blur the lines between the two genres perfectly. The film shows just how horrific the attack from the ‘Vesps’ can be, and there are some real jump scare moments in there, too.
There are some real human moments depicted in The Silence, and I find that’s always really important to incoporate how people really would act when it’s time to fight for your survival.
The dad of the family, Hugh Andrews (Stanley Tucci) perfectly portrays the protective side of being a parent. Both Hugh and Kelly (Miranda Otto) show the worry, concern, protectiveness and calmness needed to be parents.
They have to be calm, they have to be tolerant, they can’t argue, because their lives depend on it. But it’s not even like they want to. All they want to do is survive.
I find it refreshing to see what it would be like to be a parent in these situations, because we often see apocalyptic films from the point of view of single people on the run, rather than what you would do if you were a parent, because depending on whether or not kids are involved, depends on how you act. You can’t just save yourself, you can’t just run off with a gun, abandon everything and try to start again, because you’ve got more to think about.
You’ve got to think about how you can defend the people you brought into the world, and how you can stay alive to make sure they stay alive, too.
Kiernan Shipka plays the part of Ally fantastically, too. She’s a brilliant actor and just feels so real, and I really hope I see her in a load more films in the future. I’ll definitely be looking out for her name.
So, if you’re like me, and you like watching zombie films without the zombies, then this is the film for you.