In the small City of Bridrun, the lives of the residents remain unperturbed by what seems to be an oncoming shadow and while investigating a suicide, Detectives begin to unravel an unseen world. Here is our review of Some Are Silent – A Lovecraftian story.
Andrei and Mihai Constantinescu, professionally known as The Wolf Brothers, are a prolific film making team from Romania who in the past have managed to combine low budgets with impressive visuals, creating their steampunk multiverses where they can produce short films, features, and web series that show different aspects of the same world.
We last reviewed the first episode of an earlier web series they created called Cities In The Air, which was a Sky Captain and The World Of Tomorrow inspired sci-fi road trip during a nuclear winter. It garnered a positive review from us here and, after receiving a quick note from the guys asking us to look at their latest production that they had filmed over 8 days for $200, we were intrigued.
Some are Silent begins like any other police procedural; there is a suicide that needs to be investigated, photographs are taken, witnesses are questioned, and decisions are made. Detective Harvey Bowe (actor Andrei M. Radu) is put in charge and we cut to a laboratory as two scientists chat about relationships. As Detective Bowe approaches the two ladies we discover that one of them – Katia (played by actor Oana Berbec) is the sister of the deceased, and so begins a functional and dysfunctional partnership between our two leads as they come to terms with the case. Katia doesn’t believe it was suicide.
The quality of the images throughout the 40 minutes run time is very good, with crisp clear visuals that highlight every nuance on the character’s faces as well as every clue that is shown on screen. An early scene in which Katia is able to ‘see’ what happened in her sisters flat is a standout, as not only does it set up the tension that travels through the rest of the episode, it also captures the viewer’s imagination, leaving us wanting to know more about Katia and, as a supporting character later asks, “what makes her so special?”
The episode is also well-edited, and that allows for the pace of the piece to flow freely. The action within the plot speeds up when it has to, so to emphasise revelations and new evidence, and then slows right down when it has to let the audience catch up with the information being delivered. Despite its meagre budget, episode one works as a Lovecraftian mystery without the need for visual special effects. Lovecraft was always able to emphasise the cosmic horror of the unseen rather than the more visual aspect of gore, and Some are Silent’s use of creepy sound effects during Katia’s visions and the scenes involving the supernatural are so good that they leave you with a major sense of unease. That is just as effective as any jump scare or shocking image.
Sound effects are also far more useful in a practical sense, as visual effects created on a low budget can sometimes become laughable and take you out of the film. One moment in particular highlights this, when Katia sees what could be construed as a ‘spirit dog’. Thankfully that doesn’t last too long and doesn’t hurt the overall excellence of the film.
Episode one of Some are Silent is a hugely effective supernatural thriller that has a genuine style and feel all of its own. It’s a show that will puzzle and grip you in equal measure and I will be looking forward to the rest of the episodes with bated breath.