John Krasinski takes his second turn behind the camera to give the audience A Quiet Place. Krasinski, who co-stars in the film with his wife, Emily Blunt, put a new twist on the horror/thriller genre with this mostly silent movie that keeps the audience watching nervously. Never before has a calming silence been so frightening.
Set in the year 2020, A Quiet Place follows the Abbott family as they try to navigate and survive in a world where only silence is acceptable. If any distinct sounds are made, the strange, vicious creatures are alerted to a person’s presence and not only would they be in grave danger, but any family or friends nearby would be as well. So, silence is of the utmost importance as the livelihood of the Abbott family depends upon it. Communicating solely by using American sign language and reading lips, the Abbotts are relentless in their quest to keep one another alive and safe.
Several close encounters with the monsters keep the Abbotts on edge at all times and family patriarch, Lee (Krasinski), knows of at least three extraterrestrials in the area. Knowing the situation is dire, especially with his wife Evelyn (Blunt) nearing the end of her pregnancy, Lee works overtime attempting to keep his family safe. This includes trying to repair the cochlear implant for his hearing impaired daughter, Regan (Millicent Simmonds) so that she can better hear what’s going on in the vicinity around her with the ever-present threat always lurking and teaches his son Marcus (Noah Jupe) what to do in case anything were to happen to him. As the film progresses and the situation becomes more dire, Lee continues to try to figure out the creatures’ weakness and you constantly wonder if the Abbotts will make it out of this hell on earth unscathed.
Krasinski served up a horror-thriller unlike any other with A Quiet Place. Many horror films we see focus on the blood and gore factor to shock their audiences and while there are some brief moments that could be described as ‘gory’, they are miniscule and serve the plot. The movie does a good job at whipping up suspense and keeping the audience entranced, on the edge of their seats for the entire journey. With not much background given, clearly adding to the mystery behind these strange monsters, you must keep your eyes open at all times throughout the film. There is always something to see, which implies a more sinister meaning, such as a toy rocket ship or a faded newspaper with the ominous headline: ‘Stay Silent, Stay Alive’.
With all of these elements roping you in and you jump through time from day 89 to 472, you’re doubly invested by the brilliant performances of all the actors. The range of emotions that Krasinski, Blunt, Simmonds and Jupe display on the regular without any use of sound is astounding, especially as it pertains to fear. Knowing a scream could end their lives, you must rely on the facial expressions of the thespians and they are all top notch. Emily Blunt especially shines throughout the film’s entirety. The scene in which Blunt’s character, Evelyn goes into labour will have you screaming internally because remember, you cannot make a sound.
Pacing and performances aside, the movie’s most outstanding trait is its use of the element of suspense. The way that the film serves up suspense to the audience is very Hitchcock-esque – there is always a buildup, but you never know just when the climax might be coming. You might not realize it at the time or you might even forget about a crucial component for a moment (perhaps you don’t think it’s too important), but it always comes back to haunt you. The anticipation of these juncture will certainly have your heart racing in your chest and when you pair it with a threatening score by Marco Beltrami, you’re in for a great horror/thriller that will make you rethink just how much noise you’ve been making lately. Remember: If they hear you, they hunt you.
A Quiet Place is in theaters now. Be sure to check it out – it’s definitely worth the watch. I know that I will for sure be seeing it again!