Photo courtesy of Jonny Cournoyer © 2017 Paramount Pictures / IMBd

A Review of A Quiet Place (Shhh, Spoilers!)

Packed inside of a Boston theater, moviegoers gathered together to experience John Krasinski’s thrilling creation, A Quiet Place. The Newton native co-wrote, directed, and starred in the film. The film pushed every boundary of drama, horror, and sci-fi, and successfully fulfilled each of these genres through an intensive plot. Most people go to see horror movies to get their heart racing and have a good scare, but the people who gathered in theater twelve at 10:35 on a Friday night would go on a journey to discover just how far parents will go to protect their family in a world plagued by blind, blood-thirsty creatures in which the only way to stay safe is to stay silent.

The film gets your heart racing from the first scene. A title card says “Day 89,” and the journey of the family begins. The family tip-toes through an abandoned store to get medicine for their sick son. The other two children, the youngest boy and the deaf eldest daughter, carefully and silently walk through the store. It is clear that the post-apocalyptic world in which they live is dangerous, but Krasinski chooses not to explicitly explain of what they are so fearful.

As the family walks on a long sandy path back to their home, the silence in the theater is broken by robotic sounds coming from a spaceship toy the youngest boy found in the store. Panic plagues the faces of the parents as an alien-like creature suddenly comes out of the woods. Things do not end well.

A second title card covers the screen and reveals that almost a year has gone by. The loss of their son has sent the entire family into grieving. However, in a world where silence is a life or death matter, every action poses a threat. Another complication has come into the lives of the family: the mother, played by Krasinski’s real-life wife, Emily Blunt, is pregnant. Bringing a newborn baby into a world of silence will be difficult but the family takes the steps necessary to keep themselves and the baby safe.

Krasinski flawlessly introduces the audience to how and why these creatures possibly got here. Unlike other sci-fi and horror films in which things are explained through a newscast or radio announcement, the father’s office is plastered with different articles about “angels of death” that have come to Earth. Worst of all, they cannot be killed. From his own research on a whiteboard, he has determined the following: there are three in the area, they are blind, and he cannot find any weaknesses. As the father turns from his investigation on the wall towards his desk, the audience sees anatomy books about the human ear and several failed attempts at a cochlear implant for his daughter. Unconditional love from a father to his children is a common theme throughout the entire film.

Although it is a world of silence, Krasinski does a phenomenal job of playing with the natural sounds of the farm—the crops swaying, a stream running in the distance, and the gentle creak of a front porch swing. The reason the film captures your attention, however, is through the fear of potential sounds in the future—an unexposed nail on the steps, or the mother’s water breaking with one of the aliens outside her house. These subtle sounds are what keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

In the film, each scene and each action had a function. It was pleasant to see a horror film that was not overly explained, but still had themes of loss, family, and perseverance while continuing to keep viewer’s hearts racing.

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