What's the next sense to go? We're envisioning monster who assumes the form of Gordon Ramsay and eliminates our taste buds as punishment for eating sub-par cuisine.
For now, we're stuck with the fanged bat-like creatures of The Silence, who have just been unleashed from an holed-off area in Uncharted Cave System, Pennsylvania (postcode unknown). Ally Andrews (Kiernan Shipka) and her New Jersey-based family are one of many affected by the apocalyptic situation. Unlike the plebes who abide by the news' warnings to stay put in their homes, the Andrews family decide to drive up North — not that things are much better up North. It's a land full of vesps and plot-holes. We'll do our best to navigate them together.
Is The Silence just The Quiet Place in disguise?
Not quite. Despite its uncanny resemblance to last year's A Quiet Place, The Silence is based on Tim Lebbon's book of the same name, which predated A Quiet Place by three years. The monsters might hunt the same way, but there are significant differences between the two works. A few notable divergences: A Quiet Place is set many years after the monsters were unleashed, those monsters are bigger, and it is objectively good (burn!).
What are the monsters in The Silence?
They're not simple "monsters," people! They're vesps, named after avispa, the Spanish word for "wasp." But, aside from the fact that they fly in swarm formation, vesps are nothing like wasps. Vesps are like aliens bred on Earth who evolved deep in the Appalachian Mountains. They are wholly unlike any other species.
After a group of cave divers accidentally unleashes the vesps, they quickly blanket the entire Eastern Seaboard and attack people. It's moments like The Silence's subway sequence that make me want to move somewhere very rural, just in case wasp-creatures are unleashed.
Are vesps scary?
We'll give The Silence credit: vesps are pretty gruesome thanks to their translucent skin, their visible ligaments, and their hiss. To make them even more unappealing, Jude (Kyle Breitkopf) points out that they carry a pungent smell from all those millennia festering underground.
Do the vesps have any weaknesses?
Ah, you're a survivalist, I see. Good question. The vesps cannot see and they can't stand cold weather becuse it dries out their skin, darling. The key to surviving the vesp-pocalypse is to head north.
Are there any other threats in The Silence?
During apocalypse scenarios, humans are always a threat to other humans. Towards the beginning of their journey, the Andrews are almost thwarted by a man with a gun who wants to steal their car.
Then, while Hugh (Stanley Tucci) and Ally are on an expedition to get Kelly (Miranda Otto) antibiotics for her vesp bite, they come across a robed man, called the Reverend (Billy MacLellan), who's new converts for his apocalyptic church. The Reverend seems to be adopting some of the qualities of the vesps — he makes hissing noises when he's upset. He also disappears as swiftly as a vesp.
How does the Reverend organize this cult in two days?
I have no idea! More than the hissing of the vesps, this question is haunting me! Let's recap. Day one: The apocalypse happens. Days two to three: The Andrews family adjusts to their new world. Somehow, in these three days, a Christian cult has formed with enough skill to walk in a formation and abide by a clear set of principles? It's almost as if the Reverend knew what was coming.
Our working theory: He could form the cult quickly because he is kidnapping members. The Reverend cuts out his followers' tongues so they don't make noise. Ally is their newest target.
In a Handmaid's Tale-esque twist, the Reverend calls Ally "fertile" and then kidnaps her. As The Handmaid's Tale shows, all it takes is an ecological disaster for men to reduce women into baby-making machines.
Hugh is not having this. Throughout the movie, he'd been blossoming from a push-over into a He-Man capable of shepherding his family through this brave new hellscape. In this moment, the transition is complete. He saves Ally and murders the Reverend with the butt of a gun (no bullets, no noise).
After that altercation, what happens to the Andrews family?
Somehow, they successfully trek to a shelter in Arctic Circle. This journey poses an interesting storyline — imagine a family trip spent entirely in silence, for reasons other than passive aggression! Also, we're not sure how one could walk on the forest floor without making noise. Did they skip over each leaf?
At least they made it. Are they safe from the vesps?
For now. Ally has gone full Katniss Everdeen and now hunts vesps with a bow and arrow. She and her suburban heartthrob boyfriend, Rob (Dempsey Bryk), who also made it to the shelter, are adapting to a new life.
So are the vesps. They've laid eggs in wolves, indicating that they're adjusting to the colder temperature. The vesps evolve at remarkably fast speeds. Either they breed extremely quickly, or Netflix doesn't care about the typical rates of natural selection (we're going with the latter).
What's the rest of the world to do?
We are concerned about all the population without access to the Arctic. I guess this means that anyone who's not connected to the Arctic Circle – like, say, the entirety of Australia — isn't spared from the vesps. Unless the vesps can't fly over large bodies of water. Now approaching: another plot hole.
Move to Iceland. It's a) cold enough to kill of vesps and b) has universal healthcare, so you'll be more likely to withstand the throes and arrows of vesp-free life.