Why Are There No Dialogues in Netflix’s Monster (2024)?

Netflix’s ‘Monster’ is a unique mystery thriller film with no dialogue between the characters. Even though they can speak and call out each other’s names, Alana and Rabin don’t share lengthy sentences throughout the movie, just like the antagonists Jack and Murni. Even in scenes with scope for dialogue, the protagonists express their anguish and terror through certain sounds, which makes it clear that the absence of words is a creative choice. Director Rako Prijanto and screenwriter Alim Sudio crafted the movie with minimal words because the treatment serves a purpose!

The Reasons Behind Monster’s Lack of Dialogues

‘Monster’ is a remake of Shudder’s ‘The Boy Behind the Door,’ written and directed by David Charbonier and Justin Powell. Unlike the remake, the original movie features dialogue. Alim Sudio, who adapted the 2020 horror film to the Indonesian thriller, even wrote the first draft of the remake with dialogues. However, after several drafts, the screenwriter realized that the lack of dialogue better serves the narrative, which primarily centers around two children. Sudio then rewrote the screenplay to make the film more visual-oriented.

Lack of dialogue is a trope several filmmakers have used to craft their works over the years. John Krasinski’s ‘A Quiet Place’ contains only around twenty-five lines of voiced dialogue, with the rest communicated through the American Sign Language. While there is a narrative reason behind the lack of dialogue in the movie, there are other films with no voiced conversations, such as José Luis Guerín’s ‘In the City of Sylvia.’ The lack of words makes the narrative rely on the visuals, making these movies a unique experience for the viewers. Sudio opted to rewrite the film’s screenplay due to the same reason.

In an interview, Sudio also explained that the lack of dialogue facilitates the children’s organic reaction to the challenge they face after getting kidnapped. According to the kidnapper, children act intuitively while facing danger, which isn’t the case with adults, who rely on logic to resolve a predicament. Sudio seemingly believes that there’s no room for dialogue when a child reacts intuitively after getting kidnapped, especially when he/she is terrorized immensely. The silence formed by the absence of words, accompanied by the performers’ affecting expressions, succeeds in creating a sense of terror and anticipation.

‘Monster’ becomes an exceptional movie-watching experience due to this sense of impending dread. As the silence gets “thicker” in the horror thriller, the viewers are guaranteed to connect to Alana and her plight incredibly!

Read More: Netflix’s Monster (2024): Exploring All Filming Locations