A Quiet Place is a brilliant movie. Starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, it’s the story of a rural family trying to survive an extraterrestrial apocalypse from sound sensitive monsters brought to Earth on a meteor (or other means, it’s unclear). What is clear is that under the direction of Krasinski and story by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck the movie is a suspenseful and engaging experience with heart.
The rural family has outfitted their acreage with a warning light system and soundproof rooms to survive creatures wandering the land that attack anything that makes enough sound. It’s unclear if the creatures have any kind of purpose or underlying motive, but rather seem more like violent animals unthinking and unfeeling. The images of the creatures at first are minimal and intriguing but once they are given screen time enough to regard visually, they are terrifying.
There is very little dialogue. Most of the communication happens with sign language and this only deepens the audience’s commitment to the story. The premise is genius and the execution of the concept is superb. Like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope, which is filmed in one continuous shot much like a stage play, A Quiet Place makes use of sound in a way that is not often considered by many filmmakers. It’s a unique way of telling a story and forces the audience to pay attention in ways that many movies today take for granted and end up usually telling the audience what to think and feel. It isn’t a stock story with predictable outcomes and canned moments. Someone has clearly put some thought into the production.
The dynamic between the characters in the family isn’t ironic, sarcastic, or forced. They are well-acted parts displaying earnest devotion to one another with sincerity and fondness, which can seem rare in the typical Hollywood fare (generated for profit margins instead of storytelling). The father and mother have three children and are expecting a fourth. One daughter is deaf which really gives credence and believability to the sign language the family knows so well.
The plot thickens in a few developmental ways that are entertaining and engaging. It never feels rushed or edited awkwardly. It includes plot points that are not necessarily twists but are unexpected with an emotional payoff that is a breath of fresh air.
In a cinematic atmosphere where explosions and various seductions are showcased, a great original idea stands out and this movie is that.
A Quiet Place is available now to rent.
In keeping with sound-based thriller/monster movies like the 1990 film Tremors, and later A Quiet Place (2018), local filmmaker Broadway and his team created a short film in 2014 called Phil – a – del – phi – a, which follows two brothers who strive to survive in an invaded world, looking for safety from sound-seeking extra-dimensional beings. The short narrative is available on youtube and easily piques the audience’s interest for a full-length production.