Film Review: ‘A Quiet Place’ Starring John Krasinski, Emily Blunt
A Quiet Place is my kind of horror.
Imagine living in a desolate world. You’re in your late thirties, maybe early forties. You’re married with three kids and living on an isolated farm in the middle of nowhere. You have no internet, no phones, and your only form of communication is a radio to signal for help but you never have any luck getting through to anyone. You’re living off of the land and any rations you can smuggle on trips (by foot) to the local deserted town, and most importantly – you have to live your life in complete silence.
Why the silence, do you ask? An alien race of creatures has invaded Earth and as the film’s tagline says – if they can hear you, they will hunt you. The film doesn’t give a whole lot of exposition as to what these creatures are or why they are here and it doesn’t need to. What little you get (brilliantly through newspapers and other visual clues) is enough to keep the viewer on edge and understand that we know just about as much as the characters we’re following, and this alone is terrifying.
John Krasinski has come a long way since portraying the loveable prankster Jim Halpert on the American version of The Office. Not only does he shine here in the starring role (across from his real life wife Emily Blunt), but he also has his hands in writing, producing, and even directing this film and he does every bit of it masterfully. There wasn’t a moment of this film where I wasn’t on the edge of my seat or clasping my mouth dreading what’s to come, and I loved every second of it.
The film sets its tone quickly, beginning at day eighty-nine from what we can believe to be the number of days since the invasion. The film works because of this gap from the initial invasion to where our characters are at eighty-nine days later because the world (or what’s left of it) has learned that it’s sound the creatures are attracted to. So it’s quiet. Eerily quiet, and an unnamed family of five (Krasinski, Blunt, and trio of children) are scavenging through an abandoned store for supplies, using ASL to communicate to one another and being careful not to make a single sound.
The rest of the film takes place a year later. Tragedy has taken its toll on the family (and plays a major role in character development later), but they’ve continued to persevere and survive in the this seemingly inescapable world of silence and fear. Krasinski and cast are remarkable in their near-completely worldless roles, conveying every amount of emotion through their eyes and their actions throughout the film. It’s incredible just how much the viewer is able to understand the relate to this family without them even having to speak a single word.
The oldest child (Millicent Simmonds) is deaf in both the film and real life and does an exceptional job within the film adding another layer of fear and dread for her safety being unable to hear anything at all. Krasinski’s character (credited as Lee Abbott, though I don’t recall them ever being named in the film) spends what little spare time he has dedicated to studying and figuring out the science behind deafness, trying to allow his daughter to hear again and be as safe as she can be.
The film builds to a climactic finale without ever a dull moment leading to it. Every second of this film had me dreading what’s to come and I couldn’t get enough of it. See this film in the quietest possible setting you can and allow yourself to get immersed into this world for an hour and a half. You won’t regret it. You won’t forget it either.