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‘A Quiet Place’ (review)

Produced by Michael Bay,
Andrew Form, Brad Fuller

Screenplay by Bryan Woods,
Scott Beck, John Krasinski

Story by Bryan Woods, Scott Beck
Directed by John Krasinski
Starring Emily Blunt, John Krasinski,
Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe

 

A Quiet Place has more in common with the Sci-Fi B-films of the 1950’s then it does the thriller/slasher films of today.

We are dropped into the middle of the story a few short months after the incident has happened.

A family is scavenging a deserted town, looking for supplies. The viewer is given hints of an alien invasion or appearance of monsters through details in the surroundings, but the characters never discuss it.

In fact, they rarely discuss anything verbily. The creatures are attracted to sound so the family communicate almost exclusively through sign language.

Director/actor John Krasinski and writers Bryan Wood and Scott Beck have found a way to make a nearly silent movie in an age where nearly everything that surrounds us makes noise.

As expected, while foraging one of the children makes a mistake, and we get a brief glance at how terrible the monsters are.

John Krasinski and real wife, Emily Blunt, give a great tag team performance as the parents fighting to keep their family, not just surviving, but actually living in a very dangerous world. Young actors Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds are the perfect mix of kids being kids, reacting to situations the way a child would, without falling into the the typical kid stereotype that makes you want to have the children eaten by the beast.

A portion of the credit can be attributed to Krasinski as director. There is very little dialog throughout the film, subtitle or spoken. It is the performances of the cast that sell the story.

Krasinski and the writers use suspense as their main ingredient. They aren’t going for huge plot twists or jump scares. They show you what to be afraid of and then leave you to think about it for 5-10 mins before bringing the element into full play. By the time the element is engaged, you have already been edged for a while, making your reaction larger than it would have been.

The camera work, style of editing, and general cinematography lets you know that producer Michael Bay is involved in the project. The framing of the long shots has that polished feel that most of his projects demand. The isolated farm that the family defends looks more like a Pinterest-worthy getaway, than a monster infested homestead. The contrast of the beautiful setting makes the presence of the monsters all the more unsettling.

To enjoy this film, if you have a scientific/logic part of your brain, you need to shut it down. Suspend your disbelief and roll with the premise. Just because the film is filled with some artful shots and cinematography, don’t be fooled into thinking this is an indie horror film. It is a straight up monster movie, with solid acting, and a fresh approach to telling the story. Either it will be the end of the world, or a stroke of luck will save the day.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter, but watching how the family gets to the end point is what makes A Quiet Place a good film.

 

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