Tag Archives: horror

‘A Quiet Place’ Has a Lot to Say about Horror

I’m excited to see which comedian takes up directing a horror/thriller film next, because it’s worked out so far for Jordan Peele and John Krasinski…

“A Quiet Place” stars John Krasinski and his real-life wife Emily Blunt as parents who must quietly survive in a world where aliens that hunt off sound have invaded. Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe star as the couple’s children as Krasinski directs.

Back in 2016 there was a film called “Lights Out” which had a great premise but poor execution. In it, there is a monster that can only survive in the dark; if you shine a light on it then it disappears. It was smart because we all as humans have a natural fear of the dark and “A Quiet Place” feeds off the fact that humans make sound and have an urge to communicate, so what would happen if that was suddenly taken away?

One of the children in the film is hearing-impaired (played by Millicent Simmonds, who is deaf in real life) and the film does a good job of putting us in her shoes. Even though the other characters are trying their best not to make noise, our world still has so much ambient sound in it like the hum of a radiator or the soft whoosh of a quick breeze. Whenever the camera is focused on her, all sound cuts out which creates true terror at points when you just want to shout at her to notice something on screen but can’t. Not only because she cannot hear you but also because the rules the film has established for its universe.

Emily Blunt, Krasinski and Jupe are all solid, each given a scene or two to truly shine. I want to remain as vague as possible regarding how and when they have their moments (and about the plot in general) but they all step it up and give arguably career-best performances (seeing as Jupe’s previous best was in the hysterically awful “Suburbicon” take that for what it’s worth).\

The film’s best moments are when the family is in danger and there are some true heart-pounding sequences. There aren’t too many moments that allow you to fully exhale or catch your breath but that is smart because it puts you in the shoes of the characters, like with Simmonds. There are points that Krasinksi the director could have used a bit of touching up, whether it be falling into genre tropes like the bloody hand slamming up against the window for a jump scare or mishandling how a scene should have been conducted using sound design, but these missteps are rare.

“A Quiet Place” will surely make some noise on social media and at the box office because it isn’t too often that Hollywood puts out an original film (in horror no less) that resonates with you after you’ve left the theater. Typing this review I really took note of how much sound the keys make and when I sneezed how hard it would be to try and stifle the noise, and that shows that Krasinski tapped into something that connects each and every one of us and attacked it, and that’s true horror.

Critic’s Grade: B+