A Quiet Place Movie Review (Spoiler Free)
Smart, gripping and innovative, this small monster film understands the genre of horror better than most features of fear.
Genre: Drama / Horror / Sci-Fi
Director: John Krasinski
Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cade Woodward & Leon Russom.
Run Time: 90 min.
US Release: 06 April 2018
UK Release: 05 April 2018
German Release: 12 April 2018
Following my post for Ghostland, comes my second review for a horror movie released in theatres this month. A Quiet Place has been on my most awaited list, especially after last year’s successful Get Out, which was also directed by a regisseur who is primarily known for his comedic acts. Krasinski proves with this picture that comedians are not only able to direct good fright features but just like Jordan Peele, he created a different and original cinematic piece. I was invested in the story from the first to the last scene!
In a world where creatures hunt by sound, two parents need to do what it takes to keep their children safe. Every sound made can be lethal, so it is the utmost rule to keep quiet in their hiding location. Yet with Evelyn (Blunt) about to give birth, silence is a luxury they are beginning to run out of.
Krasinski co-wrote the script together with Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, which contains small imperfections. Some of these concern the pacing, which can drag a little around the beginning and middle of the film, or the heavy use of false jump scares that distract from the plot. Also, since the movie starts on the 89th day since the invasion, the audience is left wondering how the surviving family acquired all the supplies displayed. That is all, however, as the rest of the narrative was constructed superbly!
A Quiet Place is not the typical mindless horror flick, that audiences get served nowadays, but combines clever psychological-thriller tropes with a touching family drama. The tense atmosphere, established by the unsettling quiet surroundings of the first scene, holds up marvellously along the complete runtime and never loses steam but the best plot segment by far is the family dynamic. This is a contained film, focusing on the everyday life of one single family after a creature invasion killed most of the world's population and the fascinating routines they use to live a life without noise, as any sound made may lead to their death.
The lack of dialogue is the strongest feature the movie has to offer, setting it apart from the usual horror flicks. There is talking but it is minimally used; instead of words, the actors convey their emotions or needs through a fantastic mix of bodily and facial language, thus reaching a deeper connection with the viewers.
John Krasinski not only did an amazing job as director but also gives one of his most memorable performances as Lee Abbott, father of three children and husband to a pregnant wife. Lee is a strict dad, trying to get his family through each day in this post-apocalyptic world. That trait comes with a cost however, as he distances himself from his children emotionally, as well as personally. Krasinski manages to bring those attributes well to the big screen, having impeccable chemistry with his wife Emily Blunt, who plays Evelyn Abbott.
Evelyn is Lee’s wife and is in her last trimester of pregnancy. That unusual circumstance is bound to danger, as every noise made can be lethal. Contrary to her husband, Evelyn seems more warm-hearted and accessible, especially when it comes to her children. Emily Blunt gave her character a good amount of depth and a solid emotional foundation, using little amounts of words.
Regan Abbot, the oldest child of Lee and Evelyn, is portrayed by Millicent Simmonds and it is noteworthy that she not only played a deaf girl but can’t actually hear for real. The young actress is the shining star of this picture; she not only gave a strong performance when it came to expressing her grief or feelings of guilt but did a tremendous job overall, given the little industry experience she has. Noah Jupe was cast as the Abbotts youngest son Marcus and while he gave a good rendition, he was the weakest link of this feature.
The camera work in A Quiet Place is magnificent; director and cinematographer use slow but steady wandering shots to give the audience a clear idea of the surroundings, while at the same time building tension. Lingering close-ups of objects are utilised to amplify its significance in the story. The picture is crystal clear, even during night shots, using good lighting. The colour palette of browns, yellows, and reds, suits the atmosphere of the film, amplifying the feeling of sadness, danger or lurking death. The only shortfall this horror-drama has cinematographically is the animation of the creatures that look unreal.
As stated before, the lack of dialogue is the best attribute of this post-apocalyptic tale, which is partially thanks to the brilliant sound effects used. Muted scenes are used to build a connection between the character of Regan and the viewers, giving an understanding of what it must be like to live in a world like that, without able to hear anything. These scenes contrast with segments that only use background noise of the environment to build anxiety.
Verdict: This small and contained monster-drama manages to surprise positively with its originality and clever writing. While not always maintaining a steady pacing, dragging a little along the beginning, as well as the middle part of the narrative and distracting with a handful of fake jump scares, the movie convinces with its tale of a family trying to survive a monster invasion. The setting, psychological trickery and drama, make for one of the best motion pictures of its genre. The lack of dialogue, together with the great sound effects, gives it a tense scenario from start to finish. The cast worked well with each other and all of them give phenomenal performances, especially young Millicent Simmonds who simply steals each scene she is in, giving a believable and emotional rendition. The cinematography is remarkable, though, the computer effects for the monsters could have been polished up. In the end, A Quiet Place is a fantastic and very different horror flick worth an 8.5 out of 10.
If you haven’t seen John Krasinski's newest feature yet, I implore you to go see it in cinemas, I promise you won’t be disappointed! Thank you for reading and if you want to leave a comment below, please do so.