Note: This is a review of the first movie. I am reviewing the second movie, but I didn’t have a review of the first on the website, so I added one.
I don’t recall knowing what I was getting into when I saw A Quiet Place. The tagline for the film reads “If they hear you, they hunt you.” Who are “they”? People? Aliens? Paramount Pictures did an excellent job of promoting the film without giving too much away and now that I’ve seen it, I can say that it was one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen.
John Krasinski not only stars in the film, but he also directs and had a hand in writing the script (along with Bryan Woods and Scott Beck). The film also stars Krasinkski’s real-life wife, Emily Blunt, to also play his fictional one in the Paramount Pictures movie.
As one watches A Quiet Place, you get a sense that you have arrived late at a party. We meet the Abbott family (mom, dad, two boys and a girl) as they are running errands at their local drug store and immediately we know that something isn’t quite right. Nobody else is in the store, all of the Abbotts are barefoot and they are communicating with each other with American Sign Language. While Lee and Evelyn’s daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) is the only one in the family who is deaf, we soon learn that ASL is an effective form of communication for the family during these times. It also becomes clear that they are living in a post-apocalyptic world and there doesn’t appear to be anyone else in sight.
On their trip back home, father Lee leads Regan, Marcus (Noah Jupe) and four-year-old Beau across a bridge carrying a toy robot they had just picked up at the store. However, this toy has batteries and the robot begins to make a lot noise. And then tradgedy strikes leaving the family to react in horror and then running for their lives back home.
As it turns out, “they” (mentioned avove) are creatures from outer space. Although blind, these nasty guys have incredible hearing and are super strong demonlishing anything in their way. This is the Abbott’s life now.
The film fast-forwards many months later with Evelyn nine-months pregnant and Lee trying desperately to find a way to upgrade Regan’s cochlear impant so that she can hear. We also get to see how this family goes about their daily routines in quietness. Eventually, the family gets separated and all hell breaks loose.
We already know that Blunt is a great actress, but here we get to see just how talented of a actor and director Krasinski is. Giving out only a little information out at a time, John manages to keep the tension strong throughout the film. Sure, there are some jump scares, but cleverly, some of the scariest scenes involve Regan showing her point of view. Since she can’t hear anything, she doesn’t see the creatures at the same time as we do. Some of the most mundane tasks are scary to watch. Never before has an old rusty nail in a floor board look so scary. And a huge kudos to Simmonds and Jupe who do an excellent job of protraying these kids in a very realistic way.
In a way, A Quiet Place is a horror film for people who don’t like horror films. Instead of crazed maniacs slashing babysitters, this movie features monsters. There’s no sex, hardly any cussing and even most of the violence happens off screen avoiding an “R” rating. Even so, you might have to pry your hands off your theatre seat when the credits roll up the screen.
Main Image: Paramount Pictures
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.