For Halloween week, I’m watching and reviewing highly-regarded horror films that I’ve never seen before.
Title: A Quiet Place
Release Date: April 6, 2018
Director: John Krasinski
Production Company: Platinum Dunes | Sunday Night Productions
When I saw The Last Jedi in 2017, it was preceded by a trailer for A Quiet Place that Freaked. My. Kids. Out! While I still think that was inappropriate trailer placement, I was curious to see the film (on my own, when the kids weren’t around). The film depicts a family in rural New York trying to survive in a world where alien creatures with an acute sense of hearing hunt any animals that make loud sounds. Director John Krasinski stars with real life wife Emily Blunt as Lee and Evelyn Abbott, the parents of three children striving to live an ordinary life while avoiding being killed by the monsters.
Their eldest daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) is deaf and knowledge of American Sign Language allows the family to communicate when speaking is deadly. The lack of dialogue and minimal use of music in the film is very effective and emphasizes the ambient sounds in this world. At times sounds drops out entirely to show Regan’s point of view. Noah Jupe plays the middle child Marcus, and Cade Woodward plays the youngest child with an unfortunate affinity for an electronic Space Shuttle toy.
If raising kids in a post-apocalyptic world where noises are verboten (my family would be totally dinner in the first days, I’m sure) is hard enough, Evelyn becomes pregnant. The family prepares for labor and an an infant by creating a soundproof basement and adding an anesthetic gas to the baby gear. Of course, despite all their preparations, things go very wrong.
Horror films generally conclude in one of two ways: either the evil is defeated and normal life resumes, or the protagonists are defeated and evil prevails. This film ends on a moment of discovery, which is both cathartic and, of course, sets up a sequel that was recently announced. A Quiet Place is a well-acted, structured, suspenseful, and downright terrifying film!