Soft Quiet SXSW Review Film

Movie Bunker Score:

Soft & Quiet: A Masterpiece of Unsettling Realism

In her directorial debut, Beth de Araújo brings forth a cinematic force to be reckoned with in the terrifying and thought-provoking film, Soft & Quiet. Set against the backdrop of an alt-right white supremacist group, the movie thrusts viewers into a disturbing exploration of racism, entitlement, and the dire consequences of volatile emotions. With its real-time narrative and continuous single shot, Soft & Quiet gradually escalates the disturbing actions and beliefs of its characters, leaving audiences both terrified and captivated.

A Terrifying Glimpse into the Dark Depths of Humanity

Soft & Quiet is not your typical horror film, but it evokes fear in a way that few movies can. By shedding a painful spotlight on the consequences of racism and narrow-mindedness, the film confronts viewers with the harsh reality of these vices. The story revolves around Emily, an elementary school teacher who becomes involved with the “Daughters for Aryan Unity,” an alt-right white supremacist group. When the group encounters two Asian sisters at a convenience store, their already disturbing beliefs lead to a series of nightmarish events.

The performances in Soft & Quiet are nothing short of astonishing. Every character feels authentic and believable, with their motivations and selfish desires driving their extremist beliefs. Despite their abhorrent views, the characters’ nuances and personal struggles add dimension to the story, making them uncomfortably relatable in some instances. This level of realism only heightens the film’s impact, leaving a lasting impression on audiences.

Exploring the Subtle Nature of Hate

What sets Soft & Quiet apart from other films dealing with racism is its focus on subtlety. The film delves into how radical extremists, like the ones depicted, often operate in a “soft” and “quiet” manner, masking their true intentions and gaining sympathy from potential recruits. This insidious plotting, rarely highlighted in movies, creates a sense of realism that may initially dismiss the characters’ beliefs as harmless delusions. However, as the story progresses, the audience is confronted with the dangers of hate, escalating from racial slurs to acts of violence.

The real-time approach taken in Soft & Quiet is particularly effective in showcasing the rapid progression of hate. The seamless transition from racist rhetoric to harassment and finally to irredeemable acts of violence serves as a stark reminder to address and confront hate at every level. As the film reaches its disturbing climax, viewers are subjected to one of the most unsettling sequences in cinematic history, evoking visceral reactions and leaving an indelible impression.

A Cinematic Achievement in Visual Storytelling

The cinematography in Soft & Quiet, expertly handled by Greta Zozula, adds another layer of brilliance to the film. The shot composition captures the spontaneity of the moment while maintaining a focused narrative. The attention to detail is remarkable, with crucial elements strategically placed throughout the frame. The gradual shift in lighting, mirroring the increasing darkness of the events, further enhances the film’s impact, making it visually stunning.

Soft & Quiet demands a viewer’s full engagement and commitment. It is a relentlessly dark and gruesome horror film, unapologetic in its exploration of society’s horrors. The film’s raw and unbridled rage reflects the urgency with which it was created. Soft & Quiet is not for the faint of heart, but for those brave enough to endure its unsettling journey, it offers a profound and thought-provoking experience that will leave an everlasting impact.


Soft & Quiet stands as a haunting reminder of the depths humanity can sink to when fueled by racism and volatile emotions. Beth de Araújo’s directorial debut is a testament to her skill as a filmmaker, delivering a film that is both terrifying and thought-provoking. Through exceptional performances, seamless one-shot filmmaking, and a focus on subtlety, Soft & Quiet immerses viewers in a world of darkness and serves as a catalyst for reflection.


1. What is the genre of Soft & Quiet?

Though not a traditional horror film, Soft & Quiet can be described as a horror due to its exploration of unsettling and disturbing subject matter.

2. How does Soft & Quiet address racism?

Soft & Quiet dives deep into the consequences of racism, showcasing the dangers of extremist beliefs and the subtler ways in which hate can manifest.

3. Is Soft & Quiet suitable for all audiences?

No, Soft & Quiet contains intense and graphic scenes that may be distressing for some viewers. It is recommended for mature audiences.

4. Did Soft & Quiet receive critical acclaim?

Soft & Quiet premiered at SXSW 2022 and garnered high praise from critics for its immersive storytelling, exceptional performances, and powerful cinematography.

5. When will Soft & Quiet be released?

Soft & Quiet premiered on March 12, 2022, and is set to be released in US theaters and on VOD on November 4.