Bird Box vs. The Silence: Which movie comes out on top?


Netflix’s latest horror film, The Silence, follows a family as they try to survive an infestation of monsters attracted to sound.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina stars Miranda Otto and Kiernan Shipka lead the cast of the new Netflix horror movie, The Silence. The film follows a family as they try and survive a group of prehistoric bat-like creatures known as “vesps” which do not have eyes, but hunt through sound.

Sounds familiar, right? Actually, it’s kind of funny that everyone is calling The Silence a rip-off of A Quiet Place when, ironically, A Quiet Place’s plot is eerily similar to the book The Silence was based on.

The Netflix horror was adapted from the book written by Tim Lebbon, which was published in 2015 — predating A Quiet Place by several years. There were even rumblings of a lawsuit at one point. That said, A Quiet Place is clearly the superior film.

But what about the other Netflix horror film that deals with a civilization being stalked by monsters that limit a key sense, Bird Box? How does The Silence measure up?

The Monsters

I give The Silence credit for having visible monsters on screen. It’s always a risk when you bring in a CGI villain, especially in horror. If you’re not careful, they’ll look cheap and turn your blockbuster in a B-movie. Well, that’s exactly what happens here.

In fact, The Silence could have been a terrifically entertaining B-movie if it didn’t take itself so seriously. The vesps look like cheap creatures you’d find in your average Syfy movie-of-the-week. Their design is intriguing but not frightening enough to warrant any real scares.

On the flip side, Bird Box features unseen creatures that drive you mad while luring you into a suicidal state. I found them far more scary. Often, what you can’t see is more terrifying than what you can. Although A Quiet Place has them both beat with their creature designs and the limited amount you can see them in full detail. Imagination is the best friend of a great horror movie.

The Silence – Pictured (L-R): Miranda Otto as Kelly, Kate Trotter as Lynn, Kiernan Shipka as Ally, Stanley Tucci as Hugh – Photo Courtesy of Netflix Media Center

The Characters

Both films actually have terrific casts. This is the one arena The Silence actually has a leg to stand on when going head-to-head with Bird Box. The problem is, most of their talent phones it in with sub-standard performances and flat stock characters.

The producers probably should have cast an actual deaf actress to play the role for starters. If A Quiet Place could do it, I’m sure Netflix could have managed it. And Kiernan Shipka does what she can in the part but ultimately it’s not enough to be a memorable performance.

The same can be said for accomplished actors Miranda Otto and Stanley Tucci. It’s a great cast, but no one seems to have any energy. No one sparks on-screen. Bird Box didn’t have the best characters either but it did have Sandra Bullock and she stole the entire movie. She was a stand-out in her role and therefore wins this round.

The Story

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Neither story is particularly strong. They both boil down to basic survival tales but ultimately, Bird Box, again, is the winner. In The Silence, all we see is a family who is going to try and outrun the vesps. They come across a creepy cult who apparently want Ally to help them… re-populate? I guess? It’s never really made clear. There’s also a sub-plot with Ally and a boy she likes that never amounts to anything, for the most part, The Silence is just people running from mutant bats for 90 minutes with no real goal in mind.

Bird Box is better as we at least see the creatures’ impact across the country and over a prolonged period of time. We actually get to watch the survivors learn to adapt without being able to use their sight. The car scene stands out as one of the best moments in the movie for its sheer ingenuity. The grander scope made for more compelling drama without getting repetitive, something The Silence fails to achieve.

Next. Bird Box will look slightly different next time you watch. dark

The winner is… Bird Box. Well, again, A Quiet Place wins if you compare all three, but sticking to the Netflix horror realm only, then Bird Box is the clear winner.

The Silence has a compelling story and a talented cast, but ultimately it can’t overcome its melodramatic tone, copious plot holes, and lack of urgency in the storyline. I never got attached to any of the characters. The film limped along with a lifeless plot and lack of any real tension.

The Silence is currently streaming on Netflix, as is season 2 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina where you can catch film stars Miranda Otto and Kiernan Shipka reprising their roles as Aunt Zelda and Sabrina.