The Beach House (2020) | SHUDDER
I'm not going to waste time with preamble. I was very interested in The Silencing for its simple but solid premise. A thriller about a hunter vs. a serial killer? Starring Jaime Lannister? Sounds great! Sadly, this might be one of the most forgettable and sloppy thrillers I've seen in quite some time. Let's get to the review.
While The Silencing does have a lot of problems in the story department, I can see that director Robin Pront does have talent when it comes to both atmosphere and getting solid performances from his cast. Nothing in the film really got me on the edge of my seat, but there were moments here and there when the atmosphere was just right to where I perked up a little bit and actually wanted to know what was going to happen. Pront certainly directs a mediocre and forgettable script well enough for me not to be yawning and resting my eyes like some other thrillers that are mundane. That sounds like a backhanded compliment, but considering how much nothing there is in this movie, that's actually saying a bit. So good work! I guess.
I haven't seen a movie this jumbled up and confused in a long time. It almost feels like it's a mini-series that was edited down to a 90-minute movie. If that's the case then that explains the numerous plot holes in the movie that were SO blatant that I sat through the entire credit sequence listing them off in my head wondering how they didn't think anyone would notice. The last time I've seen something this messed up story-wise was The Snowman, and that movie was still more interesting than this nothingburger.
What's worse? The premise is completely wasted with the hunter vs. serial killer aspect barely explored. We spend most of our time with the police characters, who while played well by the actors, are generic, cookie-cutter archetypes that we've seen in all types of movies before. What's EVEN worse? The reveal of who the serial killer was is so rushed and laughable and this is where it REALLY reminded me of The Snowman the most. It's a "twist" that is embarrassingly lame. Honestly, it's bad. What a shame.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Luckily, the actors pull through and give solid performances all around, so it makes the nonsensical and dull plot a little more bearable. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays our hunter character who has a dark and tragic past and has plenty of moments where he sulks and broods, and while his character isn't developed enough, Coster-Waldau makes you feel for the character and wish he was in the movie way more than he actually is. The rest of the cast is about the same with their characters not being fully developed but giving performances ranging from good to average, so this was enough for me to not give up on the movie.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
"...a watered-down "thriller" with no thrills"
There is very little in terms of special effects, but there are a few shining moments of solid practical effects including a disgusting scene involving someone's neck that is probably the most memorable thing in the film because of how nasty it looked. Some scenery shots of the woods and town they shot in are nice, but nothing to write home about.
The Silencing (2020) | VOD
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
Again… okay enough, but nothing remarkable. If the movie was a bit better and had a much more terrifying villain then I think the score would've worked very well, but there wasn't anything there in terms of plot that I cared about so it ended up just being background noise to me. Not bad, but not good either.
Of all of the reviews I've written for this site, this one is the first one where I really feel like I had nothing worth saying. I could've easily just said, "Movie boring, don't watch," and it would've been the same thing. It's a watered-down "thriller" with no thrills, tons of glaring plot holes, and a sad excuse for a villain who is SO poorly revealed that I couldn't believe it. But I guess this review fits well with the movie. I had nothing to say, and this film had nothing to say. I guess that's why it was called The Silencing.
Available In Theaters, On Demand and On Digital August 14, 2020