“If they hear you, they hunt you.”
It’s a simple idea that leads to loads of tension and suspense in a horror/sci-fi movie made for (nearly) the whole family. A Quiet Place has a PG-13 rating, which is the main reason I waited for the DVD. I thought it might be too tame for my taste.
But the opening scene captured my attention right away. Minor spoilers are ahead.
Silence means survival for Lee (John Krasinski) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt) Abbott, who live with their three children in an isolated farmhouse. We first see them scavenging for medicine in a small town within walking distance – and then traveling home barefoot on trails covered with sand.
Lurking in the shadows are huge insect-like creatures that are blind – and they are always hungry. We are never told how these monsters came to conquer the world. I think it’s safe to assume they are alien in origin.
There is very little dialogue in the film. The Abbotts already have experience communicating non-verbally. Their oldest, daughter Regan, is deaf and the entire family knows sign language.
But getting back to that first scene on Day 89… When it was over, I wanted to nominate Lee and Evelyn for Worst Parents of the Year. After that, the movie skips ahead 400+ days. Evelyn is heavily pregnant (please tell me this wasn’t a planned pregnancy). If I were them, I would have moved house a lot closer to that thundering waterfall Lee and his middle child like to visit when they need a father-son moment. “Louder noises cancel out smaller ones.”
Instead, they build a special box (reminded me of a coffin) for the baby, complete with an oxygen mask. I was thinking, “What’s their plan for the terrible twos?”
Admittedly, I had a problem with some of the characters’ decisions and actions and other little details, but the film wasn’t boring in the least. How A Quiet Place truly succeeds is by instilling every scene with nerve-wracking tension and making the viewer feel like they are anything but a passive observer in this terror-filled world. Even the silence becomes horrific. And we know from the beginning that a careless moment can mean a life lost.
Lead actor John Krasinski also directed the hour and a half film, and shares a writing credit along with Scott Beck and Bryan Woods. I found no fault with the acting – Emily Blunt, especially, gave a stellar performance.
For nit-picky horror fans like myself, I must give the flick three out of five goblins. But for everyone else who loves suspense and creature features, I’ll give it four.