Reel Reviews | Silo

By Charles Kirkland Jr.

The traumatic ramifications of an all-too-common farming tragedy are illuminated as a community comes together in the drama, Silo.

Cody Rose (Jack DiFalco) is your typical American teenager.  Growing up in a small farming town in the Midwest, he has aspirations for greater things.  He has a tremendous singing voice and his small rock band may start to make waves and tour.  In the meanwhile, he continues to eke out a living working on the nearby town farm doing labor like cleaning the grain silos.  One day, while he is working in the silo, the grain chute is opened and the silo starts to fill.  Before he can escape, Cody is trapped by tons of corn grains that act like quicksand threatening to pull Cody under and drown him.  Can his community save him, or will he become a victim like so many others?

With a script written by Jason Williamson on a story by Marshall Burnette, Silo is directed by Burnette based on a short also done by him.  This is Burnette’s first feature film after a short stint as an Assistant Director and Cinematographer.  Silo stars DiFalco as Cody, Jeremy Holm, Jill Paice, Jim Parrack, Danny Ramirez, and Chris Ellis.  While many of the cast have had plenty of acting experience, none of them, except maybe Ellis (Armageddon, Transformers), is a standout face that one would recognize.  Yet altogether, the cast reaches an almost perfect synergism, pushing the performance of each other towards a level of near-perfect interaction.

Silo was completed in 2019 and has been attempting to tour the festival circuit since the fall of that year.  Of course, with the pandemic shutting down theaters, it has struggled in finding a distributor.  Nonetheless, it was well-received at Louisville’s International Festival of Film in October 2019 and then it disappeared.  Silo’s creator and its new distributor, Oscilloscope Laboratories claims it to be the first feature film addressing the issue of grain entrapment.

There is not much depth to the story.  In fact, the story is quite predictable and ordinary.  However, despite its banality and lack of star power, the movie executes itself well and is quite engaging.  The true star of the movie is Burnette.  His direction of this film shows that this is a subject matter about which he cares.  After all, it is his second shot at the story.  However, Burnette uses light and dark well, casting foreboding and sometimes ominous shadowing that adds an air of visual suspense that enhances the acting and minimalist soundtrack.  It will be interesting to see the next directorial effort from Burnette.

Although the MPAA has not yet rated the film, it will most likely receive a PG-13 for intense themes, and some language, Silo is actually an indie gem that is decently acted, lovingly directed, and intensely dramatic.  Inspired by true events, it shines a light on an American tragedy that plagues rural America and gives an appreciation for community and a value for togetherness.

Silo is available in theaters nationwide on May 7. 

Grade:  B

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