Nobody ever accused Blumhouse Productions of releasing content that induces passivity in viewers. One of the production company’s newest titles to hit Netflix — the movie Soft & Quiet, which just became available on the streaming giant this month — is a horror movie so shocking and jarring in its cruelty that one critic, for example, said it gave her one of the worst panic attacks she’s ever experienced.
It should tell you all you need to know about what this Netflix movie has in store for viewers by explaining the significance of the title. “Soft and quiet” is the approach favored by a kindergarten teacher named Emily, in terms of how best to advance the cause of white supremacy. And unlike the way that other movies rub viewers’ noses in the visceral horror of racism, this one does so in perhaps the most stomach-churning way possible: By focusing largely on the perspective of the villains.
Making the villains of Soft & Quiet all the more frightening is how ordinary and book club-like they appear. The use of largely known actors suggests that even normal-seeming people could harbor the same views as the women here, who nurse all sorts of grievances and grudges against immigrants, diversity policies, Black Lives Matter, and more.
Written, produced, and directed by Beth de Araújo, Soft & Quiet unfolds in a single, continuous take and introduces viewers to a group of women Emily has organized who are participating in a “Daughters for Aryan Unity” meeting. Eventually, they take part in a home invasion that turns horrifically ugly very fast. From the movie’s synopsis:
“Taking place in real-time, elementary school teacher Emily organizes a mixer of like-minded women, but an altercation between a woman from Emily’s past and the group leads to a volatile chain of events.”
Long story short: Be very aware of what you’re getting yourself into if you decide to check out this movie on Netflix. To say it’s not an easy watch is quite an understatement. “Araújo crafts a tense film that slowly reveals how simple racist rhetoric can escalate into physical violence on the turn of a dime,” opines a RogerEbert.com reviewer.