A QUIET PLACE Review: 8 out of 10 (Holy Ssshhhhhhh...)
“If They Hear You, They Hunt You.”
And with that fairly simple (sometimes overly so) premise, A QUIET PLACE offers a pretty creative slice of horror thriller that is a clinic on building tension…but maybe not so much on solving its own created crisis. The film is co-written and directed by John Krasinski, who also stars alongside Emily Blunt, (who is his real-life spouse) as a couple living in a remote area looking to survive with their family. Krasinski has had some previous work in features as a director, but this is his first mainstream release.
In 2020, the world goes into lockdown as the planet is overrun by sightless, predatory extraterrestrial creatures with extremely sensitive hearing. These creatures have hunted and killed off a good part of the population, leaving the Abbott family in a remote area fending for themselves, using sign language to communicate, and trying to soundproof their lives from attack. It is a creative premise that makes this movie more of a watching experience. As the silence creates further tension, any level of noise from the film only heightens the fear of both the characters and the audience. Millicent Simmonds stars here as Regan Abbott, who is the family’s deaf daughter. Seeing this through her lens only works to magnify this film’s play on sound and silence. And though composer Marco Beltrami’s score does compliment the film at times, it is a bit intrusive and works sometimes to inform the audience a bit too much. The Abbott family seems to have found a new sort of normal, but when a new baby is on the way—they recognize that the cries of an infant are out of their control and they must take action to save their family.
A creative thriller that works on the senses (much like the breakout horror film DON’T BREATHE) certainly is a great idea. The film deals with ideas of grief and the family dynamic in a way that is raw and honest. I think the biggest knock on this film is that it creates a riddle in these creatures that is so easily solvable by the audience and eventually the characters themselves that one has to wonder how the entire global population hadn’t considered the same solution. Having said that, the film is still a good bit of fun and is a clinic on visual storytelling over dialogue for wanna-be screenwriters. A QUIET PLACE is a fairly taut thriller with a terrifying premise. The payoff might leave some moviegoers a bit cold, but the overall experience is worth your time.