Barak Barkan’s ‘Silence & Darkness:’ A Journey Into the Darkest Heart of Man – Movie Review

As a reviewer of horror films, I’m used to seeing depravity depicted onscreen in many ways, but I was still taken aback by the depths of cruelty in Barak Barkan’s (Killing the Fiddler) new film, Silence & Darkness.


Blind and deaf sisters, Anna and Beth, live happily in a secluded small town with Father. However, when a neighbor stops by, Anna and Beth begin to realize Father’s intentions are more sinister than they could have imagined.

Anna (Mina Walker: Our Second First Date), who is blind, and Beth (Joan Glakin – Swipe), who is deaf, live a quiet, seemingly idyllic life in a gorgeous house in the country that backs up to the woods. The girls share a close, nearly symbiotic relationship because of their shared disabilities. Their father (Jordan Lage: The Path TV series), the doctor of the nearby small town, dotes on them, and everything seems perfect in their insular world. This changes the moment a neighbor comes to their door claiming she has found human bones in the woods behind their house. This act raises the specter of suspicion in the girls’ minds, leading them to believe Father may not have their best interests at heart.

As a film with very little actual dialogue, Silence & Darkness’ success really hinges on the acting, which is just amazing. The roles of Anna and Beth are definitely challenging parts to play. Both Walker and Glakin mold themselves to one another until you begin seeing them as one complete character. It’s subtle, delicate, and brilliant work.

The acting standout for me was Jordan Lage as Father, who gives a performance simmering with hidden menace. His introductory scenes are warm and soft, and you can’t imagine him as anything else except a man who loves his children. But the façade slowly cracks, and soon you start to suspect there is something very, very wrong in that house.

One minor problem for me: I’m sure there is a reason that the filmmakers decided to shoot a few scenes in near darkness, but in all honesty, it really didn’t do this film any favors. There is a key scene at the end that I watched at least ten times trying to make out what I believed might have been an important plot point but was never able to determine because of the total lack of light in the scene. Despite that, Silence & Darkness remains an impeccably-acted film where the menace and dread simmer dangerously just below the surface.

Silence & Darkness is a slow burn thriller that—even at a brisk 81 minutes—requires some patience from the viewer. For the thoughtful, observant watcher, it pays off in spades. It is now streaming via Digital HD and Video On Demand!

About Christine Burnham

When not writing, Christine Burnham is watching TV, Horror films, reading, cooking, and spending time with her menagerie of animals.

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