Movie Review: A Quiet Place (2018) – Not Your Average Horror Movie
John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place is a survival thriller that’s moving and emotional, despite being a complete genre movie.
Rating: ★★★★ (/5)
A Quiet Place sees a world where monsters who hunt by sound have taken over, making it a desolate and hopeless place. In this world, a family tries to live a normal life in silence, with the constant threat of death looming over them.
This is writer and director John Krasinski’s second directorial venture, however, probably the most commercial of the two. Enlisting his wife, Emily Blunt, to play the female lead, Krasinski’s direction is superb and he is able to get a lot out of the mostly young cast, considering that the premise of the movie leaves little room for acting through dialogue or conversation, but through expressions and body language.
A Quiet Place has been marketed as a terrifying horror movie, but it was a pleasant surprise to see the movie more as a thriller that focuses on a family trying to survive and hold on to what’s important, while living in constant fear.John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe & Millicent Simmonds in A Quiet Place (2018)
Lee (John Krasinski) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt) are trying to raise their kids in a world populated by monsters who hunt them by sound. The story focuses on the relationships between the characters, their strange dynamics, and how the typical parent-child relationship is affected in this monster infested world.
Writers Krasinski, Scott Beck and Bryan Woods take special care to not make A Quiet Place your typical horror movie. There is little to no exposition about the monsters or how things got as bad as they did, because the story is more about this family and their perseverance in this new world.
The movie could easily have become a very Cloverfield-like thriller about a bigger picture, (which, apparently they considered) but it stays relatively isolated to these people and their story. Krasinski’s direction is a marvel, as he is able to create tense visuals with ominously framed shots that maximize the feeling of a quiet terror. The movie is less about the jump scares and features more gasp-worthy reveals. A Quiet Place is full of these small moments that shock, stun and leave you breathless. I don’t think I exhaled for the entire 90 minute runtime.John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds & Noah Jupe in A Quiet Place (2018)
Special mention has to go to the sound design of the movie, which is interesting given the lack of much sound or dialogue in the first act. In a medium that relies on a concerto of audio and visual, Krasinski is able to completely engage us and cause us to lean deeper into the story, in a movie that at times, is devoid of any sound whatsoever.
The younger actors are impressive in their contributions to the story. Noah Jupe as the youngest son Marcus, is amazing as the young man who has to learn survival techniques from his dad, but is scared to death of doing so. But the scene stealer of A Quiet Place is Millicent Simmonds.
The young actress plays the elder daughter Regan, who is deaf (also in real life) and no longer has a functioning hearing aid; something that her father Lee has been desperately working to remedy. It’s storylines such as the one with Regan, and how the usual angst of a teen (or pre-teen) and her troubled relationship with her parents, still exist, monsters or not.
A Quiet Place is incredibly heartwarming and endearing story of these everyday family dynamics, playing out in a very genre movie. The movie is less set in the horror genre, than a survival movie about a family, that happens to have monsters. With the success of movies like The Shape Of Water, it’s interesting to have a genre movie be less about the CGI, and more about the relationships that drive the story.