#SXSW: “SOFT & QUIET”
By Amanda Gilmore
Blumhouse Thriller Soft & Quiet might go down as one of the most uncomfortable to watch films of SXSW ’22.
The Film follows Emily (Stefanie Estes), a White Supremacist elementary school teacher, who organizes a club mixer of like-minded women. When they decide to move the meeting to Emily‘s house, they stop at the local store to pick up refreshments. When two minority sisters enter, the white supremacist club targets them. This interaction sends the club into a volatile chain of events.
In her first Feature debut, Writer-Director Beth de Araújo sets herself a daring challenge: making her group of antagonists the leads. From the beginning, these spiteful women spew revolting hate speech. de Araújo’s never shies from these vile remarks. Her long, unwavering takes make for a gruelling watch.
For some, this might be an insufferable viewing experience. However, those who brave the hateful rhetoric will be left viewing a terrifying film. From start to finish, audiences will have their skin crawl with the despicable things these women say and do. Yet, that’s the purpose. After all, people in real life believe and do these things. That’s the true Horror of Soft & Quiet.
de Araújo shows what these hateful thoughts can lead to. She wants us uncomfortable, angry and horrified. Throughout, the audience will think one thing: when are these women going to suffer horribly. Because that’s what they deserve. de Araújo’s idea to film this in real-time gives suspense and believability. This authenticity is solidified by her terrifyingly committed Cast.
Estes gives a chilling performance as the leader. She plays Emily with the calm exterior that holds her detestable beliefs. Olivia Luccardi is frightening as the unhinged Leslie, who takes control of the spiralling events. The rest of the talented Cast captivates us to continue watching even when we want to stop.
Thankfully, this group of White Supremacists get no redemption. However, after the challenging watch, some of the audience may not feel redeemed either.
Soft & Quiet screens at SXSW ’22 as follows:
Saturday, March 12 at 5:15 PM EST – Alamo Lamar D
Sunday, March 13 at 7:45 PM EST – Violet Crown Cinema 2
Sunday, March 13 at 8:15 PM EST – Violet Crown Cinema 4
Thursday, March 17 at 1:15 PM EST – Alamo Lamar D
Sunday, March 13 at 10:00 AM EST – Available for 48 hours