A Quiet Place – A Review

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Director: John Krasinski

Starring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds

Rating:  B+

Initial Thoughts:  This was a really refreshing experience, though I’m most eager to be able to watch this again at home. Then I can create a perfect, distraction-free setting to really enjoy it.  I was genuinely surprised to walk away from a modern thriller feeling happy about what I had just seen.


 

**Spoilers below! If you think you’d like to give this film a watch, stop now and then return afterwards!**

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SEE THIS FILM IN A PUBLIC THEATER, PLEASE TAKE HEED!  

This is a mostly SILENT film.  It’s also only about 90 minutes.  Please, for the love of movies, do not even bring in food or drink, and DO go the bathroom before you start the film.  It’s so easy to become a distraction to the people around you with any crunching or drinking or getting up to leave.  All of the articles you’re seeing about snack shaming at these films?  It’s for real!

I hadn’t planned on publishing this review so soon!  I have other film experiences I want to share—I’ll probably end up compiling them together in a quick catch-up post because there are a lot—but that is how good I thought this film was.  I really hope that people continue to see this in theaters.  ‘A Quiet Place’ made me hopeful for modern thrillers and horror.

If you’ve been living under a rock and aren’t sure of the premise of this movie, it’s beautifully simple:

A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.

I mean, that’s basically the whole thing.

As a general note, I do not think I would personally survive in this setting.  It was a harsh and sudden realization that even as an audience member, I was now forced to be an active participant during this viewing.  It’s a tight, constricting sensation, trying for 90 minutes to be still and quiet in your theater seat.  I can’t begin to imagine if my survival depended on existing that way 24/7.  I’m loud (when I’m not watching a movie in the theater.  I’m a grand and respectful movie patron).

Hot dang, John Krasinski.  You did a good job.

There are so many things I loved about this movie.  Krasinski and Blunt obviously have chemistry, but their interactions were coated in such genuine adoration that any contact between them felt so endearing and real.  There is a marvelous scene between the two of them early on in the film, with Blunt barefoot and pregnant, in a beautiful sundress, slow-dancing with Kransinski while they listen to Harvest Moon on a shared set of earbuds.  My heart broke.

Speaking of heartbreak?  How about that extremely early on death in the first few minutes of the dang movie?  I felt promptly ‘buckled-in’ at that point, my expectations already exceeded.  For the story to say, “Okay.  Nothing and no one is sacred.  Good luck…” I was aghast!

I didn’t do much research about this film before I went to see it.  (I was really dedicated to staying as spoiler-free as possible.)  So in digging around afterwards, I was stoked to see that Krasinski really insisted on having a deaf actress play a deaf role!  Casting Millicent Simmonds was an excellent choice and she seems beloved by everyone on the production.  She taught the cast ASL and Screen Writer Scott Beck said, “It was really amazing and brought an extra depth to the film.”

I mentioned before that this movie feels tight.  We are teased with images that we know will elicit sounds (a shotgun, a nail bent out of place on a step) but when?!  When will they?!  There’s such a slow build of tension that never really dissipates in between the scenes of danger or chaos.  The creatures, though fully realized in frame later in the film are provided little-to-no explanation of their origin.  We only know that Krainski’s character has been searching for their weakness.  For humans, their obvious weakness is sound, and it’s an additional character.  Its absence is felt so strongly, a weight pressing on everything as we lean closer and closer, really focusing on imagery, micro-expressions on character’s faces and the like.

I couldn’t give this movie an “A”, despite how great I felt leaving the theater.  The characters do finally discover a weakness in the creatures and the end scene is a little too cheeky for me—so much so that an older lady at my showing shouted out something along the lines of, “Oh yeah!  You get ’em!”

Also, the whole active participant aspect for audience members is a novel idea… We could all stand to give all films our undivided attention, but asking an audience to be silent for 90 minutes is a tall order.  Seeing this film in public is about as maddening as you’d expect.  Each crunch of nachos or mouthful of popcorn, each soft-drink-straw-slurp, the unwrapping of candy, a muffled cough… it practically echoes out across the theater.  I’m most excited at the thought of renting this and watching it in my home over some really quality headphones for a totally immersive watching experience.

I would even consider purchasing this film for my collection, it’d be nice to rewatch and I’d love to listen to potential commentary.  A gag reel would also be much appreciated.

What did you think?  Are you pleased with having seen “A Quiet Place?”  Leave me a comment and let me know!


 

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