by Monica Hayes
John Krasinski’s thriller, A Quiet Place is a breath of fresh air to the genre, but it leaves you with more questions than answers.
In a post-apocalyptic future, the world is quiet. Other than nature, there is NO sounds/noise. No cars, buses, music, talking, singing, laughing etc., because if it were, the strange alien creatures who hunt by sound, will kill you. This is the tone of the entire movie.
The story opens up with the Abbott family tip-toeing around a general store looking for food, supplies but mostly for medicine for Marcus (Noah Jupe) who is sick. Then you see the youngest brother Beau (Cade Woodward) drawing a rocket on the floor and his older sister Regan (Millicent Simmonds), who is deaf, watching. He later finds a toy rocket to bring home to play with. As the family prepares to leave, Lee (John Krasinski) sees the toy rocket little Beau has in hand and speaking through sign language, quickly took the batteries out of the toy and told him it would make too much noise. Seeing the disappointment on her little brother’s face, Regan gives him the rocket. On the way back home, the little kid in Beau gets the better of him and he begins to play w/ the rocket. Noise and all. That doesn’t end well.
Now a year later, still grieving, the family is preparing what looks like a bunker. It turns out to be a sound-proof room for mom and the new baby who is due at any time. That’s right, they are having a baby in a world where the tiniest sound will get you killed. You can imagine the stress and strain about how they are going to keep a newborn quiet. Yea, good luck with that.
John Krasinski is known for his comedic role in The Office and has had other comedic accolades on his resume such as voice-overs for Shrek the Third and Robot Chicken to name a few. However, Krasinski’s transition into the director’s chair is done very well. A Quiet Place is without a doubt very well executed. It brings the audience into an unfamiliar place where the SOUND is the enemy.
Usually, in horror/thriller movies, the victims hide in the dark and dare not be in the same room with the killer. Most importantly, the killer is not in the same room, face to face with their intended victim and not attack. Here, it is the complete opposite. The creatures have been in the same vicinity and often times in the same room, not two feet from the family, but since no sound was made, they live for another day. Further, most if not all horror movies are shot in very dim to dark lighting. The dark lighting is a silent character used to add an eerie sense of terror to the film. Again, here, it is the complete opposite. Quiet Place was very bright where the majority of the movie is shot during daylight. There are few scenes where it was dark.
The cast did an excellent job of bringing the terror to the forefront. Each person brings their own special talent to the screen when it comes to dealing with the no sound. The stand out is Millicent Simmonds, who in real life is deaf. When things are going on around Lee, Evelyn, and Marcus, we can relate to what they are feeling because they relay those messages to us. But in Regan’s case, we don’t see that, when we see things from her point of view, the sound cuts out and we hear a low hum. Her facial expressions give us a glimpse of what she is thinking. Excellent.
With all the good that A Quiet Place has, it also has some bad. Just to name a few, I would suggest not going to this movie if you don’t like subtitles. The majority of the communication in the movie is through American Sign Language, so unless you understand it you will have to read. Don’t come to this movie if you somewhat sleepy or tired. There is nothing to jar you to keep you awake. As previously stated, any sound will get you killed. Also, there are a lot of unexplained questions like; How did they get to this point, what happened? Where did these creatures come from? Where are the doors? How is it that the creatures don’t hear heartbeats, but if you whisper, your dead? Oh and the smartass in me asked this question throughout the whole movie: How could you not have figured out how to kill the creatures long ago??
Overall, not a bad thriller/suspense movie. I wouldn’t call this a horror movie. There are some jumps and funny moments. The ending will kinda make you mad, but hey.