A Quiet Place
Review: 3 Palm Trees out of 4
by Manuel Reynoso
A Quiet Place is a 2018 horror film directed by John Krasinski, written by Krasinski, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck, based on a story by Woods and Beck. Starring John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmons, and Noah Jupe.
With the sudden appearance of blind alien predators, A family must live life in complete silence, or else risk being hunted down by these creatures.
First with Get Out and now A Quiet Place, these horror movies really won me over by taking horror genre elements and effectively incorporating strong themes to compliment the horror film. A Quiet Place is as much of a horror film as it is a film about family. Every scare and every threatening moment is compounded by the theme of family. John Krasinski’s choice to highlight this and show actual developing relationships is why A Quiet Place succeeds. While some aspects of the film may feel rehashed or illogical, overall it was a fantastic horror with genuine scares and emotional payoffs.
John Krasinski’s directorial debut was definitely a success but at times a bit safe. A Quiet Place had a strong gimmick revolving around silence, but it felt like little more than a plot device than anything more impactful. The choice to include a traditional musical score was an understandable decision to make, but it left me feeling that it sort of downplayed the importance of silence in the film. While I wouldn’t say it was the wrong decision to make, it left me wanting more. However, Krasinski more than made up for it with his strong emphasis on the family and their relationship. Interactions between every character was distinct and created a believable family unit. It wasn’t just a film about surviving, but about protection and love.
Having a strong family unit would not have been possible without the talents of the cast. There was such great emphasis on everyone’s relationship to each other and the cast had the prowess to make it believable. The care taken in accurately representing ASL in this film wasn’t just an important step in making this family believable, but was also a tremendous step for disability representation in cinema. Millicent Simmon’s inclusion in the film was key to bringing this family to life, she brought an understanding of deafness that would have been impossible to bring to the film without her.
A Quiet Place succeeds in being a horror film by creating a world that just feels dangerous. The rules are simple, and consequences for breaking these rules are made painfully clear early in the movie. It takes this kind of set up to give the audience a strong enough suspension of disbelief. It’s when the film has small moments of internal inconsistency that it may take you out of the film. It really boils down to having a “try not to think about it too hard” mentality for some parts of the film. While admittedly not optimal, I do believe that it’s pretty minor and overall plot and premise of the film is put together well enough to enjoy.
Not being the kind of person to really enjoy horror films, I really believe a film like A Quiet Place highlights what other films have been missing. It’s not enough for me to feel scared because of what scary monster lurks in the dark, but it takes strong theming to make me feel scared for the person trapped there with it. That is what makes A Quiet Place the better horror movie. Theming is what makes even a pin drop enough of a scare to put me on the edge of my seat. Rated R 1h35m