A Quiet Place: Film Review

Imag­ine if you were in the world of re­cent thriller “A Quiet Place.” You have to stay silent in every­thing you do in or­der to keep your­self and oth­ers alive. I don’t know about you, but as some­one who nor­mally does­n’t say that much, stay­ing quiet to not at­tract cer­tain things in my sur­round­ings would­n’t be too hard.

As a sim­ple sum­mary, the Ab­bott fam­ily must nav­i­gate their lives in si­lence in a post-apoc­a­lyp­tic world af­ter mys­te­ri­ous crea­tures that hunt by sound threaten their sur­vival. No­body can make any noise or they will know where they are.

Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place (2018)

Though I still think the hor­ror genre is the lazi­est out there, I was hon­estly look­ing for­ward to “A Quiet Place” be­cause of how in­ter­est­ing the plot was made out to be. The first trailer was one of the best trail­ers I’ve seen from a hor­ror movie, and I did­n’t even watch the sec­ond trailer be­cause I wanted to know as lit­tle as pos­si­ble about the plot. Di­rec­tor and star John Krasin­ski has proven him­self to be a very tal­ented ac­tor from “The Of­fice” and even in “13 Hours”. And we’re fi­nally see­ing a movie fea­tur­ing him and his wife Emily Blunt to­gether (best celebrity cou­ple cur­rently). But if you were to tell me that Jim from “The Of­fice” would be han­dling a hor­ror movie, I’d say that’s some­thing to get ex­cited about. As only the third film he’s di­rected in his ca­reer, this 90-minute long thriller kept me want­ing more when it was over.

With Krasin­ski be­hind the cam­era, and co-writ­ten by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, “A Quiet Place” was a re­ally well-crafted thriller that did­n’t feel fake at any mo­ment. Any hor­ror movie gets a pass when it’s some­thing orig­i­nal and in­ven­tive with a sim­ple story, just like here. The story takes place 89 days af­ter some un­ex­plained event hap­pened. Most of Earth’s pop­u­la­tion has van­ished, and we only have a con­nec­tion through this fam­ily: the Ab­botts.

Telling a sim­ple story with only vi­su­als and sound did­n’t come across as pre­ten­tious, but rather unique. It also has a touch of “It Comes at Night,” “10 Clover­field Lane” and “Signs.” The over­all di­rec­tion is beau­ti­ful and very cap­ti­vat­ing at every point, choos­ing care­fully when to use sound and when not to.

John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe, and Millicent Simmonds in A Quiet Place (2018)

Try to hold your breath when some­thing scary is about to hap­pen. “A Quiet Place” is filled with a lot of ten­sion and chills. You feel like each one of the char­ac­ters: try­ing not to make a sound or stay­ing away from these crea­tures. The first open­ing ten min­utes made me ques­tion what was go­ing to hap­pen. Even the peo­ple sur­round­ing me in the au­di­ence did­n’t make a peep when these mo­ments hap­pened. But I would hon­estly ad­vise any­one to not eat any­thing too crunchy and try not to cough while watch­ing it, since it would prob­a­bly be a to­tal dis­trac­tion. (It was, at least, for me, try­ing to stop my stom­ach from growl­ing.) It has its fair share of jump scares, but they are well-con­structed. A cou­ple mo­ments will lead you to the edge of your seat, just like my­self.

The cast is very lim­ited, and Krasin­ski does­n’t waste any­one of them. Given the fact that they can’t say any­thing for a ma­jor­ity of the film, they use fa­cial ex­pres­sions to truly show their feel­ings. Krasin­ski and Blunt have some amaz­ing chem­istry as Lee and Eve­lyn, as any mar­ried cou­ple should have. The two kids, Noah Jupe (“Sub­ur­bicon” and “Won­der”) as Mar­cus and Mil­li­cent Sim­monds (“Won­der­struck”) as Re­gan were also ex­cel­lent, and weren’t an­noy­ing. It’s a great role for Sim­monds, be­cause just like her char­ac­ter, she’s also deaf in real life.

Not in­clud­ing much talk­ing might sound im­pos­si­ble to han­dle. There’s min­i­mal di­a­logue through­out. The film it­self does a fan­tas­tic of char­ac­ters com­mu­ni­cat­ing via sign lan­guage and whis­per­ing. Some might con­sider that con­cept bor­ing, but it’s what makes the film chal­leng­ing that makes it worth see­ing. I also need to give a lot of credit to the sound de­sign, es­pe­cially when they cut back fr0m Re­gan’s per­spec­tive to the per­spec­tive of the other char­ac­ters, since Re­gan has a hear­ing aid. Though some may be dis­tracted by the use of Marco Bel­trami’s score when there should be si­lence and noth­ing else to build the sus­pense, it did­n’t bother me that much.

The only is­sues I had is that there were a cou­ple scenes in the first act that were a lit­tle slow and there should’ve been some kind of ex­pla­na­tion about how the post-apoc­a­lypse world came to be. Some quick glimpses of news­pa­per ar­ti­cles sug­gest why, but there is­n’t a clear an­swer to how these crea­tures came about. Granted, I’m glad there was­n’t a scene of just ex­po­si­tion.

For me, it’s hor­ror movies like this that make me ap­pre­ci­ate the genre a lit­tle bit more. That’s prob­a­bly why I ac­tu­ally en­joyed “Don’t Breathe” or “Get Out,” since they turned out to be some of the most mem­o­rable films in the genre, and “A Quiet Place” is go­ing to be the next clas­sic peo­ple will be talk­ing about. Who knows if Krasin­ski’s next film could top it? But Michael Bay’s pro­duc­tion com­pany, Plat­inum Dunes, fi­nally pro­duced a great hor­ror movie. Fi­nally. It does feel like more of a thriller than hor­ror, but it’s some­thing on which no­body can miss out.

Tense, af­fec­tive and fright­en­ing with a smart, orig­i­nal premise, “A Quiet Place” does­n’t fall short with John Krasin­ski’s di­rec­tion and per­for­mance. Grade: B+

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