Netflix Now: Soft & Quiet (2022) - Reviewed

Images courtesy of Blumhouse

The evils of generational racism and cultural warfare come boiling to the surface in the horrifying tale of Soft & Quiet. This highly relevant story about a pack of women is a low budget thriller shot in long take form that captures modern naziism in the form of a 90 minute film from Blumhouse and their creative  partners. As a snapshot of Trump era attitudes towards race and immigration, this feature is one of anxiety and violence in all its various forms. This film could be panic attack inducing for the weak of heart. 

What starts out as an innocent school day quickly devolves into one of madness. A small group of women get together to introduce themselves into a weekly after-school meetup. All is revealed when we find out this isn’t some innocent get together. The crew is made up of white ladies, all from some varying background of racism and hate. Their discussion quickly turns to one of malevolence and hatred. The stage is almost immediately set for things to turn ugly. 

Horror films that could happen in our reality are typically the scariest of the bunch. Soft & Quiet is one of those movies. Everything about this could actually happen and is claimed to be based on a true life story. It’s almost unfathomable how mean spirited and aggressive this project goes. If there is a slippery slope, this one goes right off the edge, taking its audience to the brink of sanity. 

While it’s not necessarily graphic, it’s what you can imagine that’s happening off screen that’s even more disturbing. Nearly nothing is off the table. If you can’t handle implied scenes of brutal violence and sexual assault, this one may be one to set aside. This is a painful reflection of a humanity lost, one that’s been heavily armored by far right social media commentary, extremist narratives and cable talk show discussion points all manifested in a day of bloodshed. This is something we can all imagine being splashed all over our newsfeed almost any day of the week. We can also imagine the support that these criminals would receive as some sort of heroes. That in itself is a hard pill to swallow.  Things like this happen in our reality all the time. And these broken people would be celebrated for their actions. This film is just a delivery system that bears the weight of telling a tragic story that’s an uneasy and honest reflection of our world. 

Beth de Ara├║jo’s Soft & Quiet is a skilled character study that digs at the skewed rationality and immoral code of racist and extremist groups. She handily processes a plot that couldn’t have been easy to tell. Her film making is tightly wound, capitalizing on tension and fear while she takes jabs at an inhumane sub-culture that's. Using a cast of unknowns, she’s able to keep a level of realism that isn’t distracted by big name actors or stars. Soft & Quiet is a modern home invasion horror film that’s not about slashers or some fictional evil. 

Not all monsters live in the dark. Some exist in our reality. Soft & Quiet sheds much needed light on this subsect of our society.