The Netflix movie The silence follows a family trying to survive an apocalyptic outburst of monsters. Called ‘Vesps’, these flying bat creatures hunt by sound, so the only way to survive is to stay absolutely still. This is easier for the Andrews family, who all learned sign language after Ally (Kiernan Shipka) lost her hearing in an accident, but not everyone survives the end of the film.
It is impossible to read the synopsis for The silence without thinking of last year’s runaway horror hit A quiet place, which also featured monsters who prey on sound, a deaf daughter and a family who had the advantage of knowing sign language, and a house in the countryside they must defend. However, The silence actually predates A quiet place, based on a 2015 novel by Tim Lebbon. The film was directed by John R. Leonetti and also stars Stanley Tucci, Miranda Otto and John Corbett.
After realizing that the creatures on the news are attracted to sound, the Andrews family wisely decided to get out of town and move to a quieter place. After the devastating losses of Uncle Glenn (Corbett) and the family dog on the road, they eventually find a house to hide in (after the owner unfortunately becomes a snack for the local Vesps). Just when it seems they are safe from the reptilian monster birds, however, a new danger comes in the form of a cult called The Hushed, who cut their tongues out in tribute to the new world order. The Hushed begin to harass Hugh’s (Stanley Tucci) family, leading to something even more sinister. Let’s break off The silence‘s ending, and what it reveals about the film’s general themes.
What happens at the end of the silence?
In Netflix’s The silence To the end, Ally and Hugh try to find antibiotics to prevent an infection in Kelly’s (Miranda Otto) leg. When they leave the pharmacy, they meet a cult leader from The Hushed and ignore his attempts to integrate them into the herd. The cult then follows them from the pharmacy to the remote hiding place. Hugh does his best to get the cult members to leave him and the rest of the Andrews family alone, only for The Reverend to explain that they want Ally because “the girl is fertile.” Hugh threatens them with a gun, and they seem to disappear. That same night, Hugh tells Kelly that the family must go north, as the Vesps can’t live in the cold.
The Netflix horror original turns into every parent’s worst nightmare when the cult sends a kid armed with cell phones that go off with alarms as soon as she enters the house. The noises attract the Vesps and the family retreat to the basement, but there The Hushed is waiting for them. Cultists try to drag Ally out of the house and Grandma Lynn fights them. Lynn sacrifices herself by screaming and causing the Vesps to devour her and the cultists. The rest of the Andrews family are later shown alive and well up north with Ally’s friend Rob (Dempsey Bryk).
What are the beings in the silence? Samples explained
Like something of a Jurassic Park meets Alien crossover movie, the main antagonistic force in Netflix’s The silence are pterodactyl-like monsters called “Vesps”. The opening sequence of The silence shows the Vesps escape from a sealed underground cave system and devour anything that makes noise. Ally does some research on the monsters and discovers that Vesps are an ancient species that evolved during their captivity. Like true cavemen like bats, the Vesps are completely blind and can only find their prey through sound. Another disturbing element for the monsters is their tendency to lay eggs in the bodies of their victims. The silenceAt the end, the question is who will adapt first, the Vesps to the cold or the people to the silence.
The hushed representation of adaptation and evolution
They may seem like a typical apocalyptic cult, but the Reverend and his followers, The Hushed, actually represent one of the main themes of not only The silence but also the A quiet place franchise and the other release from Netflix, birdhouse† All three films introduce a new predator to the ecosystem and show how humanity adapts to survive. In birdhouseThus, the audience saw the character of Sandra Bullock raise her children to always use blindfolds outside, so as not to see the monsters that kill simply by witnessing.
the abbots in A quiet place and the Andrews family in The silence both adapt by communicating through sign language, but The silenceThe cult of The Hushed takes a different approach. They cut out their tongues knowing their voices will only kill them in this new world, and the Reverend disturbingly reveals that they are interested in catching Ally because she is “fertile” and therefore an interesting investment for the Waco like sect. While there’s a good chance the pastor only wants a “fertile” teenage girl because he’s a creepy rapist, that wording is important because it ties into The silencethe end themes of evolution. When a former apex predator is confronted by a new apex predator, one of the best chances of survival is to reproduce and replenish their numbers. Unfortunately, the Vesps have a bit of an unfair advantage in that regard.
The Silence’s Ending Reveals How the Vesps Caused an Apocalypse
As with many apocalypse movies, one of the first questions people ask is how the US military might have been so helpless against, in this case, a bunch of mini pterodactyls straight out Jurassic Park† After escaping from a cave system where they have evolved for thousands of years, the Vesps quickly cover the land in devastating numbers, massacring entire cities full of people up to The silence‘Sending. It’s the kind of feat that would require trillions of Vesps, which seems more than achievable in a single cave system.
Netflix’s The silence infestation is explained in more detail in the book, but the Vesp takeover was facilitated by the fact that they breed extremely quickly – laying eggs in the bodies of their victims that hatch quickly. This makes the Vesp plague spread much faster and more deadly than a Army of the Dead inspired zombie plague; while a zombie can only create one new zombie at a time, a Vesp can lay a dozen eggs and then go on to lay another dozen, multiplying their numbers rapidly and exponentially. The silenceThe ending reveals the Vesps’ breeding strategy, with a recently killed wolf where a Vesp has laid translucent eggs – the babies inside are already well formed.
The ending of The Silence is all about Survival of the Fittest
The silence† A quiet placeand birdhouse are interesting because they all reformulate something traditionally considered a disability — blindness or deafness — as a key survival trait that gives humans an evolutionary advantage. Ally is better suited to survive in the new world because she is used to communicating without sound, just like Regan from A quiet place. The silenceThe ending shows her and Rob quietly hunting the Vesps in the forest, offering hope for a future where humans can wipe out the Vesps, if not, at least survive alongside them.
Also the key to The silenceIn the end, the Andrews family moves north to The Refuge, where the Vesps are less numerous because they are not well adapted to the cold. Evolution takes quite a while, and in the meantime, humanity’s best chance of survival is to move to areas where their new predators won’t venture. Like humanity in Netflix’s The silence can first adapt to the violent change in the ecosystem, then evolution follows.
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