The Silence :
The Silence is about a family enduring an onslaught by bat-like creatures that discover their prey by means of sound. The best way to endure the attack is by being incredibly silent. This puts 16-year-old Ally Andrews and her family in a favourable position : Ally is deaf, and they all know sign language. But they are discovered by a cult who attempts to abuse Ally’s elevated senses.
Bird Box :
Five years after an evil force drives the vast majority of society to self destruction, a mother and her two children navigate a treacherous lake to get to safety. In the wake of an obscure worldwide dread, a mother must find the courage to escape with her children while fighting off sinister forces to reach their place of sanctuary.
A Quiet Place :
“A Quiet Place” is the story of a family of five living in provincial seclusion that is reduced to silence because of a lot of enormous, covert and ruthless animals who can hear every sound. They are on a rampage in the forested areas and, at any significant sound, will emerge and instantly attack the hapless victims to death. The film is an account of survivalism that begins eighty-nine days into the frenzy.
A Quiet Place was eerily impressive in its creepiness, while Bird Box introduced a new dimension with a blindfolded mother and her two children. The Silence is the newest kid on the block and it’s fairly similar to the other two, particularly A Quiet Place.
Of the three, A Quiet Place is cinematically superior in terms of visuals and direction. Moreover, it was the only film out of the three that had a theatre release. Vast portions of the film carry no dialogue and it relied mainly on gestures and facial expressions to power it through to the end. The actors do an impeccable job of conveying tension and emotion that adds to the suspense and menace of the film. The film is solely focussed on one family and is sort of contained in the sense that we don’t know what’s going on with the rest of the world.
A Quiet Place starts out post-apocalypse, while The Silence begins pre-invasion. In A Quiet Place, Regan, played by Millicent Simmonds, loses her hearing at birth. Meanwhile, Ally in The Silence faces a loss of hearing at age 13. The Silence also has a religious cult angle to it that is more Bird Box than A Quiet Place. Bird Box had a similar idea wherein some people survive after seeing the creatures, only to be mesmerised into forcing others to see. However, in The Silence, it’s not hypnosis that makes people behave crazy but their own hysterical response, which in a way is more disturbing. However, Bird Box’s happy ending feels decidedly earned after a long navigation across a waterway fraught with peril at every other moment. In comparison, the ending of The Silence somehow feels a little abrupt and not as satisfactory.
Bird Box was incredibly engrossing and its biggest advantage is its cast. Sandra Bullock does an incredible job of playing a reluctant mother forced to perform courageous feats to protect her children whom she calls “girl” and “boy.” John Malkovich and the other ensemble cast do a good job in their limited but important roles. The suspense comes not only from the creatures that force people to commit suicide but also from witnessing different characters trying to survive the attack together. Bird Box is probably the most re-watchable movie of the three.
The Silence is similar to Bird Box, where you had to shut your eyes or the monsters would get you, but identical to A Quiet Place, where the monsters hunt by sound and you survive by being as silent as possible. Meanwhile, The Quiet Place features alien predator dogs, the Bird Box has unseen demons and The Silence has bat type creatures called “Vesps “ that break out from an underground cave and begin attacking anyone who makes a sound.
It is practically impossible to avoid comparing The Silence to A Quiet Place because not only do we have sinister creatures that hunt by sound, but we have a family where the daughter is deaf and their knowledge of sign language keeps them alive.
But The Silence doesn’t compare favourably against A Quiet Place, which was far superior. The Silence isn’t even as engaging as Bird Box. The concept of Bird Box was very interesting and Sandra Bullock’s performance took the film to a whole new level.
The Silence has its merits but would have benefitted greatly if the cult angle was exploited more fully, than relegating it to only 20 minutes towards the end of the movie. Overall, The Silence isn’t a bad movie. But it falls short of being as good as Bird Box, which is somewhat as good as A Quiet Place.
My Honest Opinion
Of the three, I personally enjoyed Bird Box the best because of its novel concept and Sandra Bullock’s impeccable performance. Not to mention, the controlled and endearing performances of the two children.
All three have unique takes on a post-apocalyptic world and feature creatures that have the power to bring out the best and worst in the characters. Each utilises survival horror to terrify its audiences and all three depict the heroic lengths parents will go to keep their children safe from harm.
The ideas and storylines may have been reused, but they are good watches nevertheless. For me, Bird Box was the best, A Quiet Place unmissable and The Silence fairly skippable.