Netflix originals are usually hit or miss, and this one is surely a miss.
I started the movie and almost immediately, there was a lack of silence. There were women getting torn apart by creatures they let loose in a cave and screaming. Then, after a few minutes of credits with very loud music, it shows a deaf girl - Ally - and her family, shortly followed by news broadcasts about the creatures and the explanation that they rely on hearing to hunt, which caused the name of the movie to make more sense.
Netflix originals have a new fascination with the deprivation of senses. First Hush, then Birdbox and now this. There’s just something terrifying about watching people having to survive terrifying situations while lacking what they need most.
This movie is sort of a cross between Piranha and A Quiet Place. Like in the movie Piranha, a deadly species was unleashed from a cave, causing death and destruction in their wake. \ A Quiet Place has many similar aspects: a deaf daughter, monsters that rely on hearing to find their prey, death in the family, and the strive for survival.
While these movies are very different, it’s hard to forget the similarities. It feels like a lot of other movie concepts thrown together in an attempt to make something popular. It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to create something new and interesting. Movies often include too many aspects in an attempt to be innovative, and this is usually their downfall. Too many things make the plot confusing, hard to follow, or even just boring. This is a good example of boring.
The creatures, called vesps, were enough plot; however, the cult they introduced - along with them attempting to abduct Ally because she is “fertile” - was unnecessary and made me count the minutes to the end. Not only did this get introduced in the last 30 minutes of the film, it also felt forced and a little awkward, like they just needed it for runtime.
I understand the movie needed to be different and stand out, but the survival aspect (if done right) should have been enough.
The other aspects of this movie that I didn’t enjoy was the lack of character development around those who died. One of the first main characters to die was the father’s best friend, Glenn, who was introduced minutes before the family fled the house, and insight on his relation to the family was shared minutes before his death. It made the death not all that painful or surprising.
The ending was a happy one; the family went north because the vesps can’t survive in cold temperatures for long. Ally was reunited with her boy at a refugee camp and ends with a question: will humans evolve to live in silence, or will the vesps evolve to hunt further north?
The one plus to this movie was the CGI of the creatures. The looked like pale, veiny, flesh-colored bats with no eyes were pretty freaky, and definitely gave me chills when they first showed one up close.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this movie and I wouldn’t watch it again. This is the kind of movie with a trailer that grabs your attention and leaves you feeling like you wasted your time and money.