‘A Quiet Place’ raises a fresh voice in horror (review)

“If they can hear you, they can hunt you.”

Horror is a very unique genre. You either are treated to a well-thought, methodical love letter to any one of the masters of the genre, or you’re force fed dribble that strives to solely jump scare the hidden hell out of you. It’s a complicated situation, creating a horror film.

But every so often, you stumble upon a new and refreshing take on the complex genre, such as 2017’s Get Out, or last year’s remarkable reboot of It. Now, horror fans everywhere can relish in the fact that there’s another great film to enjoy: A Quiet Place!

A Quiet Place, starred and directed by John Krasinski, is a unique story that will take you by surprise! The film follows a family of four who must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threaten their survival. If they hear you, they hunt you.

First off, how much is it a surprise to see Jim from The Office doing something like this? The man who used to give awkward stares at the camera is now filming fearful gazes for his project. John Krasinski first directed the heartfelt 2016 film, The Hollars, but later transitioned to a whole other genre, moving to the more frightening category of film with A Quiet Place. And boy does he knock it out of the park! The film, where the majority of the time has no dialogue, is dependent on physical cues and visual acting. This requires precise direction, and John truly knows what he wants.

John was also a part of the writing team of the film. The story in A Quiet Place may seem simple or even redundant, but this fresh take on the invasion theme is well done. Every plot point and incident in the film serve to the overall drive, continuing to progress the film along without any dry or slow moments.

The story maintains a sort of Twilight Zone style, creating an all-inclusive tale that wraps up nicely for moviegoers. This brand of filmmaking is definitely a breath of fresh air for theaters today, as the expectations of sequels, anthologies and world building seem to be a common thread in most films nowadays. A Quiet Place delivers a tale that satisfies moviegoers from beginning, all the way to the very end.

And in terms of a great visual story, the performances in this film are incredible! Emily Blunt has always been a phenomenal performer, but this film really highlights her ability to be a physical actress. Not many actors can convey strong emotion and fear with their eyes, and with Emily Blunt already having large eyes, those characteristics were very visible, and expertly portrayed.

The children also excelled in the film, especially the young and talented Millicent Simmonds. The young actress, who plays the deaf daughter to Blunt and Krasinski, is actually deaf in real life. Overcoming her adversity, she is outstanding in her role, and does wonderfully in the film.

The film, as I said, relies heavily on the silence of theater since most of it is without dialogue. The incredible thing about the film, however, is that it is engaging from the start. The issue, however, is when you have those that aren’t engaged, or those whose phones aren’t turned off. The amount of trust that this film has with the people who are walking in to see it is tremendous, which can either make or break the experience. This is honestly one of my fewest issues with the film, seeing as a moviegoers’ whole experience hinges on the cooperation of the whole crowd.

All in all, I think the film is great! The story may seem basic and overdone, but the great thing is, it actually hasn’t! At least, not this way it’s told. You have to admire the risk being taken when you choose to do a movie where most of the actors speak to each other with sign language, but when it pays off, it pays off big time. This film does just that, and more, as each moment of this film is filled with a sense of true dread and fear that doesn’t have to be coupled with a loud musical piece. It’s terror in its most natural state: a fear of protecting those you love from ones you know little about. A Quiet Place will have you encapsulated with the story, and cowering in fear, afraid to breath, and especially, even speak.

Rating 4.5/5 Atoms

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