Netflix releases a trailer for The Silence. Based on Tim Lebbon’s 2015 novel, the horror adaption stars Kiernan Shipka and her Chilling Adventures of Sabrina co-star Miranda Otto. Directed by John R. Leonetti, The Silence follows a family who retreats to the woods during an apocalyptic event. Like John Krasinski’s 2018 mainstream hit A Quiet Place, which featured deaf actress Millicent Simmonds portraying a deaf character, Shipka’s character, Ally Andrews, is deaf.
Alongside Shipka and Otto, Stanley Tucci and John Corbett co-star in The Silence. The film was written by Carey Van Dyke and Shane Van Dyke, the latter of whom has written “mockbuster” films like Titanic II and Transmorphers: Fall of Man. During a recent interview, The Silence's director, Leonetti, revealed that Shipka learned sign language for the Netflix film, and suggested that his lead actress had “an almost innate sense of what it's like being a deaf person.” Understandably, The Silence has already received criticism from the deaf community.
Today, Netflix released The Silence’s trailer. Early on, the clip bears a resemblance to Netflix’s 2018 film Bird Box, another post-apocalyptic horror story. In this case, however, Netflix offers a big baddie reveal in the trailer. After 30 seconds of characters whispering in a car, The Silence’s villains appear: flying creatures that hunt humans through sound. Visually, the clip includes the standard cliches: a wide metropolis shot, the suggestion that entire regions of America have been wiped out, and images of barren streets. By the second half, The Silence's trailer picks up the pace as mysterious survivors are introduced, and they seemingly represent another threat to the Andrews family’s safety. Through clever audio design, which includes the repetitive statement “listen,” the trailer establishes a sense of psychological confusion as Shipka’s Ally tries to connect the dots. Check out The Silence's trailer and poster below.
While the average Netflix subscriber may not be familiar with The Silence’s aforementioned screenwriters, the director is known for his collaborations with Australian filmmaker James Wan. The 62-year-old Leonetti directed the 2014 supernatural horror film Annabelle, co-produced by Wan, which was produced for $6.5 million and ultimately made $257 million at the box office. For most of Leonetti’s career, he’s worked as a cinematographer, with his feature debut being the 1991 franchise film Child’s Play 3. Since then, Leonetti has shot The Mask, The Scorpion King, Mortal Kombat, Insidious, and The Conjuring, to name a few notable Hollywood productions. He’s the brother of cinematographer Matthew F. Leonetti, who is known for early ‘80s classics like Poltergeist and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, along with more recent films like the Farrelly brothers’ The Three Stooges and Dumb and Dumber To.
Based on The Silence’s trailer, the film seems to be Netflix’s 2019 cash grab. With that said, the mix of a “mockbuster” writer and a director with a vast industry resume suggests there will be a few original surprises, and maybe some familiar gimmicks. We’ll find out when Netflix releases The Silence next month.
The Silence premieres Wednesday April 10 on Netflix.