+ Recommended – PG-13, Thriller, Horror
A Quiet Place is a prime example of a movie that’s smart. Not only will the plot interest you, but the characters have a level of depth that often can’t be achieved within a 90 minute window. Much to the likes of 2017’s Get Out, A Quiet Place will undoubtedly remain in the back of my mind through the rest of 2018 and into Oscar season.
The plot revolves around a family that’s forced to live in silence and communicate through sign language when creatures that hunt by sound appear on our home planet, Earth. John Krasinski (The Office) and Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow, Sicario) play the parents of three children as they struggle to acclimate to a post-apocalyptic scene right in their own backyard. I’ll give the film points for this: while the kids do ridiculous things sometimes, it doesn’t break my immersion because of the fact that they are kids. All the child actors are able to capture the fear of being children in a world like this and the standout performance from them comes from actress Millicent Simmonds, who plays Regan (she is actually deaf).
John Krasinski wrote, directed, and starred as the leading man Lee Abbott, who has to tackle the role of playing the “bad-parent” to ensure his kids’ safety and survival in this world. And while it’s easy to scoff at some of Lee’s tactics, it’s also easy to sympathize with his character and understand his motivations. Krasinski proves to be a capable director, especially within this genre, revealing certain elements to the audience before the characters; this creates for a tension–filled, chaotic 90 minute thriller. He also effectively establishes the stakes of this new world within the opening scenes. No one is safe.
Blunt’s character, on the other hand, remains calm and collective; serving as the rock (or heart) of the family. As you’ve seen in the trailers, her character is pregnant and this plot point is used to propel the story into new and thrilling situations that fans of the genre haven’t seen too much. Her performance proves that she is a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood, especially as she jumps from projects like Sicario, to this, and then Mary Poppins later this year. The chemistry between Krasinski and Blunt is ever-present throughout the film and deepens the level of fear that’s felt when stuff goes completely awry.
Beyond performances, the film’s score is done superbly by Marco Beltrami and aids the overall feel of the film; especially because so much of the film is in silence. Unlike other horror and thriller soundtracks, the tension isn’t completely derivative from the soundtrack; this separates the film from others like it in that regard. There are tracks built around the sound design of the film and those do add to the tension, but the majority of the tracks are centered around character interaction and tone.
A lot of these post-apocalyptic movies focus on a city-setting. With Krasinski’s take, the setting shifts towards a more rural area; reminding me of films like 10 Cloverfield Lane and surprisingly enough, The Mist. Charlotte Bruus Christensen, the primary cinematographer, captures the horror of being secluded; and there are some breathtaking, beautiful shots that come from this.
Overall, A Quiet Place delivers the thrills and excitement that audiences should expect from these types of films. Me and Riley saw this in a packed theatre at midnight, and the atmosphere in the theatre reminded me of seeing movies like It (2017) and Get Out with a crowd. Look for our video review for this movie sometime next week. We want to hear your comments on the film! Did you like it? Did it live up to the hype?