Every day during October, the Department of Tangents presents a different short film for the Daily Horror Film Fest. It can be flat-out scary, strange, or haunting. Today’s entry is The Silent, written and directed by Toni Kristian Tikkanen.
It isn’t easy to tell a good story without words, but Tikkanen’s film does it. This is a gorgeous film, rich in imagery. The story is told from the point of view of a blue-eyed cherub of a girl, showing us the murky depths of her worst fears. The challenging thing is, she mostly doesn’t run from them. She watches them – she’s trying to make sense of them, same as the viewer. So we get lingering shots, leading us off into a place we have to imagine ourselves. Which is always more frightening than the big rubber monster.
Tikkanen has posted some review quotes on the YouTube page for this, and B.A. Lewandowski of Bloody Disgusting captured it well – “This is the type of horror film Berman would have been proud of – highly stylized, surreptitious in its approach, clandestine in its symbolization.”
There is a definite arc, a change in the last couple of scenes that indicates something solid to me, but I’m not sure I want to say it here and infect anyone’s experience of the film. Tell me in the comments what you think and we’ll have the discussion down there.