Often, film makers like to look at the giant epic excitement of alien and monster invasions. It is the spectacle, and does not let up. But every now and then, you find writers and directors who are more interested in the stories you can tell in the aftermath. The deeply personal tales.
John Krasinski (you know, Jim from the Office) has directed two films prior to this and some episodes of the Office… but A Quiet Place is unique from his other works (both as an actor and a director, this is his first horror film) and also is set apart from a lot of modern horror.
Set in a near future where vicious predators appeared that hunt by sound have decimated the planet, the Abbott family is trying to come back from tragedy and survive in a world where silence truly is golden.
People walk barefoot, they communicate through sign language (the Abbott’s daughter Regan is deaf, giving the family a leg up). In fact, the film contains nearly no audible dialog. Sometimes the film takes us into Regan’s perspective by going completely silent.
The film is incredibly intense and yet, emotionally engaging. Late in the film, tension is built by a character struggling to evade a monster while enduring a very specific physical struggle. Krasinski and his real life wife Emily Blunt bring their relationship to the front here, as glue that holds the family together. They are dedicated parents who will do whatever it takes to protest their children. And the kids in this film give wonderful performances. This is especially true considering that nobody in the film gets to sell their emotional beats with a dramatic monologue, it is all in their eyes.
This is not basing it’s horror in gory gross-out effects and buckets of blood…it is in the cat and mouse between the family and these beasts that wander through the countryside. A Quiet Place a wonderful movie, and a unique horror entry.