Movie Review: ‘A Quiet Place’
Silence is a tool used by many filmmakers, usually to build anticipation. But when silence is the status quo in a movie, it immediately puts the audience in suspense and keeps them there. That is the key element, John Krasinski uses to perfection in his directorial effort a Quiet Place. Krasinski and his wife Emily Blunt play grieving parents in a post-apocalyptic setting ruled by sound sensitive creatures. We see clues as to what these two characters may have been in past lives, but that is unimportant now; now the only thing that matters is keeping their remaining children safe. We as the audience serve as helpless spectators as the family tip-toes silently through what was once a town and hunker down in their isolated farm house.
Normally I criticize horror films which use an abundance of jump scares, but I can not hold that same grudge against a Quiet Place. The film unfolds in such a way that jump scares are its bread and butter. And when they come, they are solid and perfectly executed. When this besieged family is not being hunted down by Xenomorph-esque creatures, we see some truly touching family moments. They can be as simple as John Krasinski bonding with his terrified son, or the two parents dreading what happens if they fail to protect their children. The one who absolutely steals the show in these heartfelt scenes is, Millicent Simmonds as the hearing impaired eldest daughter, who goes through an incredible character evolution through the film. In making this movie, Krasinski sought an actress who had a true hearing impairment, which would not only add authenticity to the film but also help him as he helms a movie set in silence. Simmonds proves she is more than capable of the task in her performance.
A Quiet Place is a finely crafted and solid horror film, which will draw you in as you root for this family in their struggle to survive. With the vast majority of the movie set in silence, the cast is able to tell the story through actions and raw emotions. With so many films nowadays opting for big and bombastic or very dialogue-heavy, John Krasinski has done something very different and it definitely pays off.