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A Quiet Place: A Solid Horror Film That Gets Creative With Its Monsters

April 10, 2018

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What I love about A Quiet Place is how director John Krasinski and writers Bryan Woods and Scott Beck desperately wanted to make something new and refreshing within the horror genre. There are familiar elements (when are there not?), but there is so much new material that it felt like a true original brought forth by people who wanted to blend three-dimensional characters with deadly monsters. The 97% Tomatometer score is warranted and so is the massive $50 million it pulled in on its opening weekend. A Quiet Place will hopefully be a trendsetter that inspires talented filmmakers and A-list talent (E.G. Emily Blunt) to create some new monsters.

A Quiet Place revolves around a family doing their best to survive in the months after a massive alien attack ravaged the earth. We learn early on that the creatures hate noise and it leads to an opening scene that expertly breaks down the families daily life and leads to the death of a child that is heavily foreshadowed (and shown in the trailer). The four remaining family members are the parents Lee (John Krasinski), and Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and their kids Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Noah (Marcus Abbot). They live in a secluded farmhouse that has been retrofitted to protect against sound with painted footprints to avoid creaky wooden floors and white lines on top of soft earth to avoid leaf crunches and snapped twigs. Being that A Quiet Place is a horror film Krasinski added some extra layers to make sure terror will be unavoidable in the future. The extra elements are wise additions as the mother Evelyn is at least eight months pregnant, and the daughter Regan is deaf which helps because it means the family knows sign-language but hurts because she can’t hear any approaching monsters.

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Between the blind monsters, pregnant wife, and a deaf child the tension is raised to insane lengths which leads to Signs-esque jumps and Spielberg’s War of the Worlds alien mayhem (on a much smaller scale). The cool thing is none of the tension-bait feels gratuitous because of the performances and well-staged set pieces that feature deadly corn,  strategic nails, and flooded safe rooms. It also helps that the actors are top-notch and lead by a stellar Emily Blunt who pulls off a virtuoso moment of acting when she has to simultaneously pretend to give birth AND be scared out of her mind because of a looming alien. Also, I loved that Krasinski cast deaf-actress Millicent Simmonds to play the daughter because there is an authenticity to her performance that wouldn’t have felt genuine in another person’s performance.

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Between A Quiet Place, Hush and Don’t Breathe there have been some solid “don’t speak” horror movies that have risen above the genre via good scripts, inventive (and nasty) set pieces and committed performances. I think the art of “silence” in horror isn’t explored enough and I love how A Quiet Place flourishes in its silence.

Watch A Quiet Place and embrace the new monsters.

 

 

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. John permalink
    April 11, 2018 12:00 pm

    Great review.

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