A Quiet Place 2018
A family lives an isolated existence in utter silence, for fear of an unknown threat that follows and attacks at any sound.
April 6, 2018
Bryan Woods and Scott Beck
Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Noah Jupe, and Millicent Simmonds
A Quiet Place kicked off the first night of the 25th Annual South by Southwest Festival in Austin, and the audience reaction was outstanding. The film played before at a filled-to-capacity Paramount Theater, where the silence was often punctuated by screams, gasps, and triumphant cheers. It’s a suspenseful and engrossing ride from start to finish, delivering a powerful jolt so quickly it’ll leave moviegoers as speechless as the characters on screen.
Official Synopsis: A family lives an isolated existence in utter silence, for fear of an unknown threat that follows and attacks at any sound.
Honestly, it’s a difficult movie to find fault in; every complaint I had was objectively nitpicky. Oh, there were scenes in the trailer that didn’t make it into the final cut, boo hoo. Oh, I didn’t get the answers I was looking for. Well, that’s because I only knew exactly as much as the characters themselves. The father (John Krasinski) is shown trying to make sense of the dangerous nemesis that stalks his family. Why should we know more than they do? It’s effective storytelling, with an implied mythology, like an unwritten prequel and sequel where you already have the main plot points mapped out, leaving the terrifying details up to the viewers’ imaginations.
While it’s not a Cloverfield movie as some had hypothesized, it could easily fall under that same umbrella; it’s highly reminiscent of Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane without any of that Paradox foolishness. But it’s more: It’s a fight against extinction against creatures that could just as easily have been spat out from the bowls of the earth as arrived by spacecraft. Imagine if Will Buyers and his buddies had never defeated The Mind Slayer in Stranger Things. Perhaps the planet would look a lot like it does in A Quiet Place.
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None of the characters have names but they don’t need them. Eventually, we see them more as components of a single unit than different people, the same way football fans support their home team without knowing everyone’s names. This family is our team and we root for them—hard; despite a home field advantage, they’re behind in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, praying for a Hail Mary. Players may be injured or taken out of the game, but the team must hold its center, or all is certainly lost. Individually, humans are weak, but when a team comes together, they’re strong like Voltron.
A Quiet Place is the film Signs tried to be—and then some. The horror is restrained, making it extremely effective, even in small doses. Bouts of suspense reach extreme levels. But, ultimately, everything hinges on this family; we have to like them, really care about them—and we do. It probably helps that Krasinski is married to his co-star, Emily Blunt, with whom he actually has children. How else could they communicate this love, fear, terror, and triumph? Perhaps the fact that they’re both talented thespians only helped in the situation.
Know who else are talented thespians? Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds, the child actors who play the sibling duo in the film. They say never work with animals or kids, but in a Q&A that followed the film, Krasinski couldn’t praise them enough, crediting them with helping him become a better actor and filmmaker. Keep in mind this was Krasinski’s directorial debut.
A Quiet Place feels like lightning trapped in a jar; it’s not amazingly original, just amazing. Do yourselves a favor and avoid the inevitable flood of trailers certain to proceed the film’s April 6th release. There were some things about the characters that I was unaware of going in—and I’m glad I didn’t know then what I know now.
Naysayers will say “Nay” but genre fans really couldn’t ask for anything more; it’s so far above average it’s ridiculous. It’s not perfect, but what movie is?
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