For a film entitled Of Silence, there is an awful lot of creepy noise to be heard. Noise that could be described as a dog that’s trying to growl at you while gargling the blood of a dead animal at the same time. The main protagonist may spend the majority of the film in silence, but the surrounding environment is anything but peaceful.
Colby (Jeremiah Sayys) returns to his home after his wife’s brutal murder. As he slowly cocoons himself in the familiar surroundings, he finds himself being haunted by a black mist and the aforementioned creepy sounds. As the days go on, despite visits from family there to cheer him up, his torment becomes more severe as he relives the sequence of events that lead to his wife’s murder.
Credit is first due to filmmaker Jeremiah Sayys, who manages to not only be the main focal point for the majority of the film onscreen as Colby, but also the main creative voice behind the camera. It’s not the easiest of tasks to both direct and star in your own film, and Sayys pulls it off without making Of Silence appear like an acting reel experiment.
The filmmakers also deserve credit for crafting a sufficiently off-putting and creepy film out of essentially one simple location: Colby’s house. Even when events get at their most supernatural, it’s still all taking place in one spot.
I also enjoyed the way eyes were shot in the film, particularly Colby’s. I don’t know if it was a conscious lighting decision or just a happy accident, but there are numerous sequences where Colby’s silent demeanor and behavior gives you the impression that he is miles away from himself, and his eyes in those moments are most often pitch black. Considering the use of darkness and shadow throughout the film, this subtle touch with the eyes make things that much more intense. If the eyes are the gateway to the soul, what do Colby’s say in those moments?
At times the film does feel like it is repeating itself with Colby’s experiences, but I did enjoy how each revelation brought more to the story, as well it should. Nothing is explicitly explained, so the audience has to do some heavy-lifting, and while that can be a cop-out in some instances, it works here… for the most part. I can’t say that I really understood the ending of the film, or what it was trying to say with the way it wrapped up. I’m willing to accept that I missed something, though overall I feel like there was a lack of a expressed mythology concerning the external elements that appeared to be tormenting Colby, almost like I needed more information going in.
Of Silence has a subtle, powerful acting performance at its core, and it delivers its cinematic creepiness more by what you hear than what you see. Instead of a gore-fest or something more in keeping with contemporary horror, this film is more like being wrapped in a black blanket with no knowledge of what’s around you, save for the distorted sounds.
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