- Directed by John Krasinski
- March 9, 2018 (SXSW) / April 6, 2018 (United States)
In a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by blind monsters, a father and a mother struggle to survive and raise their children.
A Quiet Place is one of those movies that showed up unexpectedly on everyone’s radar. It seemed to come up from nowhere. I can see why it took people by surprise. It contains elements from several types of films yet fails to fit well with any of them which makes for something memorable. I have heard this called a horror movie, but it is not really that frightening. It is closer to a drama but with the monsters that the family must avoid it can be considered a horror film.
The story revolves around the Abbott family trying to survive an infestation of alien predators that hunt by sound. Through most of the film they are reeling from the death of their youngest child Beau who while playing with a small toy he found when they were foraging for supplies turned it on. The noise attracted one of the creatures which snatched him. The father Lee (John Krasinski) blames his young daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) because she had given him the toy but failed to notice he had taken the batteries as well.
Communication in A Quiet Place is done primarily through American Sign Language since the monsters hunt through sound. You really cannot have people yammering away in a world infested with creatures that hunt based on the slightest sound. Millicent Simmonds who plays the deaf Regan is deaf in real life and got the part partly because of that. Director John Krasinski wanted someone who was not just pretending and thus would be an asset on the set. The rare moments of spoken word or feel intense.
Krasinski does a pretty good job of creating a logical world for these people to exist in. The Abbots have gone to extremes to minimize the amount of sound they make. They do not wear shoes for instance. The basement walls are lined with sound insulting material. And in their house it appears they marked the non-squeaking spots of the floor for when they walk. They even have an alert system set up to warn anyone that is not at home to the presence of the monsters should they arrive.
A Quiet Place presents an apocalypse story that focuses on a family. There are few if any humans left. Lee at one point is seen going through short wave frequencies trying to pick up anyone that might be out there and by all indications he has been completely unsuccessful. The only other people seen in the movie is an elderly couple and they do not last very long.
That is one disturbing scene early in the film. Lee and his son Marcus (Noah Jupe) are walking back from catching some fish and they come across an old woman and her husband. These are quite possibly the first humans they have seen in some time and the woman is dead and her husband lets out a scream. You know what is coming and it just builds and builds.
If you are expecting scares, you will not really get them. There is plenty of tension throughout though. Every little noise or potential for noise is rife with the possibility of summoning the monsters.
This film does not waste any time with extraneous fluff. They quickly and effectively set up the world these characters exist in. You know these monsters arrived and that the military could not easily deal with him. And you understand the family’s plight in short order.
Maybe I am thinking too much on this, but it is known the creatures hunt by sound. What gets me is that the solution is not thought of until the end of the film. It seems like it is one of those things people might try. Hello! These are extremely sound sensitive creatures.
I was originally going to give A Quiet Place a “watch it” but after some consideration I will go with an “if you want.” Why? Because this movie lacks rewatchability. I have seen it twice and while I enjoyed the first viewing, the second watch failed to have a similar magic. It was good but I just felt “Meh” watching it. If you have not seen it before give A Quiet Place a watch. If you already have then keep your memories of it pristine and do not revisit it. It is a fine film but it is a fine film you only need to see once.