Of Silence (2014)


 
Of Silence Official Trailer from WorldsLastHero Productions on Vimeo.
 
Former scuba instructor Colby (Jeremiah Sayys) has seen his entire life turn to absolute shit. After losing his wife in a tragic accident, he becomes an introverted, agoraphobe, unable or maybe just unwilling to deal with her passing. When he learns that not only is his father ill, but his brother has just been diagnosed with a tumor, it seems as though things can't get any worse. Unfortunately for Colby, things can get worse, and do they very quickly.
 
Despite everyone's best efforts, Colbys depression worsens and he begins hearing and seeing some of the most terrible things anyone can imagine. The only solace he seems to be able to find comes in the form of his little sister Haley (Ashlee Gilespie). But soon she too becomes enraptured in the growing darkness that haunts him. And Colby is forced to answer the question: Is what's haunting him a symptom of his lingering depression or something even more sinister?

The term you will hear most often in regards to Of Silence is "slow burn." Which would indeed be the most accurate way to describe the film, and there is nothing wrong with films that are a slow burn. Not everything can come out of the gate like a Tarantino-esque barn burner. In fact, I prefer horror films that take the opportunity to build something before letting everything get bat shit crazy. The problem with Of Silence is that it holds it's cards too close to the vest for way too long. 

It's a shame too, because Of Silence does so much right. Written and directed by star Sayys, the film works as a tight psychological thriller that may or may not be more than meets the eye. If that's something you are into than Of Silence may be just what the doctor ordered. As a "horror" film, Of Silence falls a little short. There are plenty of creepy sounds and shadows, and even a few effective jump scares early in the film. It's just not enough to drive the "horror" part of the narrative forward.

That being said, there are some wonderful performances from a surprisingly strong cast for an independent film by a first time feature director. Sayys is tremendous as Colby. He is literally in every shot and is the focus of every scene. He supported by veteran actors Muse Watson (I Know What You Did Last Summer) and Suzanne Ford as his parents. Mathew Lawrence (Boy Meets World) plays his ailing brother and Najarra Townsend (Contracted) is a girl Colbys wife used to treat. All of them are wonderful but it's really Sayys show, and he takes the proverbial ball and runs with it.
 
Tremendously acted and extremely well directed, Of Silence had all the potential of being a really great psychological horror film. Unfortunately, it holds out on the pay off just a little too long. Still,  it's a very good film and certainly worth taking a look at, horror fan or not. 

*** stars out of *****

As always, thanks for reading, and "Enjoy Every Sandwich."

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