Directed by John Krasinski
Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cade Woodward
This movie is the definition of non-stop. It manages to capture a level of intensity in a post-apocalyptic world that far transcended the overdone zombie and monster films and shows that have been so popular in the last few years. I’m pretty sure my heart was pounding during the entire thing.
A small family of five are fighting for their lives in a post-apocalyptic world — monsters of mysterious origins have seemed to topple society as they knew it, and only a few survivors remain. The monsters are extremely fast, ruthless and slash humans to shreds in a matter of seconds, with no hesitation.
Oh, and the monsters are also blind — so they hunt using their extraordinary hearing. Your life would be over at the literal drop of a hat.
To survive, the family must live a soundless life. This means communicating via sign language, scattering sand on the ground over paths and never wearing shoes. It also means no crying, whimpering or screaming, even if the monsters are tearing another human being apart right in front of you.
There are some faults, for those of you that must find faults in everything. But they are technicalities (“well if I was there, I would have obviously just done XYZ”) that could have probably been explained away in the context of the story — but films that feel the need to explain everything often suffer for it, in my opinion. I was easily able to suspend my disbelief for the duration of the movie.
The acting is superb — John Krasinski proves his salt as an actor and a director here, and he is paralleled by his real life and in-movie spouse, Emily Blunt, who always takes performances to the next level. The children were excellently cast, and perfectly portrayed the overwhelming fear always threatening to bubble up into a single, deadly sound.
One of my favorite parts of the film was all of the sound motifs weaved throughout. Of course, there are the major plot points surrounding being quiet, but they were magnified by all the other uses of sound — a pregnant mother listening to her baby through a stethoscope, a deaf girl with her malfunctioning cochlear implant, or even a ransacked grocery store with only the bags of chips left untouched.
While “A Quiet Place” is terrifying, I wouldn’t classify it as a horror movie. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, but I left feeling more like I had just gotten off a roller coaster and slept just fine that night (I’m a wimp when it comes to demonic horror movies). I would recommend it to anyone who wants to hold their breath for two hours, and would definitely say it’s one to see in theaters.
Images courtesy of Paramount Pictures.