SILENCE & DARKNESS (2020) Reviews and overview

 

Silence & Darkness is a  2020 American drama thriller about two blind and deaf sisters who live with their father in a secluded small town.

Written, produced and directed by Barak Barkan – making his feature debut – the Lyntone Productions movie stars Mina Walker, Joan Glackin, Jordan Lage, Sandra Gartner and Ariel Zevon.

Plot:

Blind and deaf sisters, Anna and Beth, who live happily in a secluded small town with Father. However, when a neighbour stops by, Anna and Beth begin to realize their father’s mental health has been deteriorating their entire lives and question whether or not he truly has their best interest at heart.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“This small-budget thriller keeps viewers on edge throughout. Because the girls communicate with ASL, the average viewer who doesn’t speak that language fluently doesn’t know what is being said. It’s only after the conversation, when action takes place, that we can deduce the dialogue witnessed.” 1 of My Stories

Silence & Darkness is a cleverly made combination of mystery, drama and thriller which succeeds due to the rapport between Walker and Glackin. Indeed, director Barak Barkan chooses not to subtitle their conversations, at it’s a masterstroke […] Silence & Darkness is an inventive and disarming debut feature.” Backseat Mafia

“There is a stillness to Barkan’s movie which slowly sucks the viewer in, holding off any violence until the last minute. Glackin, Walker and Lage deliver phenomenal performances here. The sisters’ bonding through adversity, and their silent communication between each other, is conveyed unfussily and totally convincingly…” Bloody Flicks

“The suspense and the reveals are dealt with initially through muted moments, until the very closing scenes of Silence & Darkness when Barkan throws subtlety out of the window, and I loved it! Barak is hugely successful in his use of the unknown and the unseen to build suspense throughout […] Although Silence & Darkness does take in the dip in the middle which is it’s only real negative it’s worth it to struggle through and reach a thoroughly satisfying end.” BRWC

“It would have been nice to see the narrative carry this a little further, relying less on the emotional response of the viewer to its big revelation (which isn’t all that hard to see coming) and exploring the mindset behind it in a little more depth. The girls’ psychological journey is handled well but the story, impressive early on, ends up taking the easy route.” Eye for Film

Silence & Darkness is not perfect, and those seeking definitive answers about everything going on will be left severely disappointed. But for those who want a mindful meditation on decaying mental health, parenting, and the bonds of sisterhood will be rewarded with an excellent looking movie anchored by truly outstanding performances; just be patient.” Film Threat

“The dread here creeps and stalks its dual prey through a dreamy loveliness […] come for the bold pacing, deftly coiled restraint and devotion to complex characterization and world-building of writer/director Barak Barkan, absolutely slaying his feature debut. Stay for nuanced, brilliant performances by Walker and Glackin…” Rue Morgue

“An enjoyably creepy thriller, this one is really all about build-up, as it very gradually destroys the “perfect world” it has created in the first act, and only by the by lets the audience (and the girls of course) in on the cracks this world is having, that were always there beyond the surface and only now slowly come to the surface. And the film’s structured cleverly enough never to give its game away…” Search My Trash

“A metaphorical cloud of doom lingers over the beautiful home, haunting the inhabitants with a burden of uncertainty as the film makes its way to a climax that unravels the real truth. With a run time of just 81 minutes, Silence and Darkness is a surprisingly slow burner, but it is devilishly seductive and effective in being so, transforming the key elements of its narrative into a thrilling spectacle.” The Up Coming

Cast and characters:

Mina Walker … Anna
Joan Glackin … Beth
Jordan Lage … Father
Sandra Gartner … Mrs Bishop
Ariel Zevon … Mrs Long

Technical details:

81 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1

Working title:

Touched

Trailer: