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Colby's having it tough. The guy's been forced to take a break from his job as a scuba diver because of an inner ear condition, and has to deal with his wife Annabelle's untimely death. Returning home, Colby starts hearing and seeing strange things in the darkness of his house. Is he going nuts, or is there something very real in the dark?
Things going bump in the dark are almost always fun. I say 'almost' because it's kind of hard to get to sleep when your upstairs neighbors are having the loudest sex ever, but that's beside the point. Mixing in some deep character introspective tends to be part of these types of films, and OF SILENCE is no different. OF SILENCE is the debut film for writer/director/producer/actor Jeremiah Sayys, and attempts to have both of those in his first film. The question is, does it work?
Sayys scores points with the film's look. It doesn't feel like an indie film. Rather it has that made-for-TV look about it. That might not seem like much of a compliment, but there's a definite polish to the film that sets it apart from productions using first-timer techniques and cameras that end up making the resulting film look cheap. And that's not what happens here.
Acting-wise, however, the film is so-so. It's an indie film, and so it's kind of expected that the acting quality would be on the level of an indie film. It doesn't help that for much of the film, we just have Sayys alone in the house in the dark (because lights are expensive or something), moving slowly as if he's been hit with a tranquilizer dart. I know that his character is supposed to be depressed, and that shows itself with how he interacts with people, but it's just made worse by the slow pacing. The fact that the film uses lots of long takes for the majority of its shots doesn't help, either.
Overall, the biggest problem with OF SILENCE is the editing. Picture spending the first half hour of a film watching your protagonist wander around his house (in the dark) in lethargic fashion, while at the same time sprinkling hints of what's supposed to be story progression. That's what happens with this film. And I say 'hints' because what advancements we do get really don't do much other than consist of Colby having flashbacks of memories of his wife Annabelle doing dishes or sitting on the couch. There are the moments where we catch glimpses of dark shapes outside or in the shadows along with weird noises, but those are so few and far between that it's completely useless to get any sort of tension going. Things do pick up once Colby's hallucinations increase, but even then it's still not enough to retain your attention.
OF SILENCE could've been a creepy little horror flick. The production looked polished with competent camera work with some mild tension-inducing moments. However, the insistence of long, drawn out shots with an almost-comatose protagonist does little to capture our interest. Compounded by the fact that the film needed some editing to quicken the pace, it won't be much of a surprise if you start to find yourself rummaging around on Facebook while the film plays.
Nothing but a screener disk.
I don't want to say OF SILENCE was a waste of time, but given that it took forever to get itself going with next to nothing in terms of progression of the story, it's hard to say. The production values are there, but in the end, the film is a case of someone doing too much for one project, and not focusing on their strong suit.