Movie Review: A Quiet Place

Movie Review: A Quiet Place

Jennifer Walmach, Writer

A Quiet Place, starring Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, was released on April 6, 2018. Directed by John Krasinski, better known for his role as “Jim” from the comedy series, The Office, the modern-day horror thrill tells the story of the Abbott family scavenging for supplies in a deserted town. The family comprises of Lee (the father, Krasinski), Evelyn (the mother, Blunt), genetically deaf daughter, Reagan (Millicent Simmonds), and sons Marcus and Beau. Together, they attempt to live their lives as quiet as possible due to hypersensitive beasts that can hunt humans; additionally, they use ASL (American Sign Language) to communicate with one another, hoping that the sightless creatures will not harm them, hence the film’s tagline: “If they hear you, they hunt you”.

I did not really know what to expect as my initial thought was that it would be just another “dumb monster movie,” but instead, for an hour and a half, I watched the Abbott family struggle to remain silent to escape death. It was a nerve-wracking thriller that kept me tense throughout the whole movie. 

John Krasinski proves himself to be a proficient director, maximizing the suspense by choosing what he prioritizes. For example, when Krasinski reveals things to the audience versus when he reveals them to the characters, he is creating suspense through dramatic irony. The scenes with the creatures are rarely about the creatures, instead, they’re about the characters. This wasn’t just a monster movie–it was a movie about a family’s struggle to survive as the director purposely creates an emotional attachment with the audience.

In the very beginning of the film, we are told that it is “Day 89,” indicating that it has been 89 days into whatever started this current dilemma with the monsters on earth (which is never explored). Humans, namely the Abbott family, seem to already have a system in place as they’ve already figured out some techniques that help diminish the noises. Purposefully, Krasinski focuses on how one family has learned to survive instead of honing in the popular mass hysteria of “Day 1” that we, as viewers, are accustomed to. 

The actors/actresses throughout the film did a phenomenal job of capturing the fear within the movie through their body language and facial expressions so we could understand the story on a deeper level, especially more so due to subtle character nuances and the absence of dialogue. Since there is such limited dialogue to tell a story like this, a filmmaker has to know how to communicate to the audience without saying much. As mentioned before, Krasinski and his actors excel at this, since his characters are forced to live in this “world,” they have to change their way of life, which leads to one of my favorite aspects of the movie: observing their new way of living. Since they cannot make a sound, they must do everything in their power to minimize the sound (s) that they do make.

Throughout the film, I noticed that most of the characters made valid choices for their safety, in contrast with other horror films, as we often find ourselves angry at the decisions characters make because they are often “stupid” and done for the “thrill” more than anything. However, in this film, everyone seems to know what to do as they also constructed a complex system around their farm that helps warn each other if something goes wrong.

Overall, this movie was great in all aspects, from the acting to the setting and storyline, it even had me leaving the theater afraid to make a sound.