You probably know by now that one of the most anticipated thrillers of the year is A Quiet Place, directed by John Krasinski. This movie, which also stars Krasinski and his real-life spouse Emily Blunt, is about a family who is forced to live in total silence to avoid being killed by creatures that hunt by sound. The film is powerful, creative and just as good as it has been hyped up to be.
I will start by saying that the story has a simplicity to it that is refreshing. It plays by the rule that less is more, but also proves that simplicity is by no means equivalent to boring. In fact, it is rather clever and uses every bit of its runtime to draw you in and give you a glimpse as to how this family has been able to survive so long in this world overtaken by monsters they cannot escape. Because the majority of the movie is without actual words being spoken (they communicate generally through sign language), it relies very heavily on visuals, and observing how they adapt to situations without causing themselves further danger. They have many smart resolutions, such as sound-proofing rooms and board games, fishing by a river so that the sound is drowned out by running water, even using certain colors of lights to indicate when something is an emergency. They have very clearly learned survival techniques and how to think on their feet when the time calls for it, which happens in several instances throughout the film.
Beyond the terrifying element of having to live completely in silence so you will not be killed within seconds, there is a deeper story of the value of family that Krasinski truly makes the heart of this film. The most notable aspect that displays this heart is the dynamic between Lee Abbot (Karsinski) and his daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds). Early on, you see and feel the tension between them. She is the oldest of the children, as well as the most fearless. (She is also deaf, so has learned to an even greater degree how to be smart and fend for herself .) However, her father’s protective nature toward her only wedges more distance between their already fragile relationship. Some of the most memorable moments of the film are rooted in the relationships between the father and his kids, and that drives home the real take-away: what would you do for your family?
Simmonds is phenomenal as the strong-willed, broken young girl who blames herself for the heartbreak her family has suffered. She seeks to be brave, and ends up playing a very key role in the search for salvation from their hell on earth. As fantastic as Simmonds is, there is no doubt that Emily Blunt steals the show as the strong, loving, and (very) pregnant Evelyn. Even just imagining the emotions that would come with expecting a child in that type of environment is enough to give you a gut punch, but seeing Evelyn struggling through those emotions, and doing everything in her power to stay alive and safe while going in to labor, is one of the most incredibly intense things you will ever see on screen. Blunt is masterful and captivating with her portrayal of this unforgettable scenario. This movie will also show you a different side of the hilarious Krasinski. We have seen him in more serious roles before, but this one far surpasses those, as you can tell this character is particularly special to him.
All in all, there is not a moment of A Quiet Place where you are not holding your breath right along with the Abbotts, and feel as if you are dropped directly in to their frightening world. The only potential downside to a story like this is that it may not be a re-watch type of film once you have seen it for the first time. That being said, the movie is original, impressive and exceptionally well-acted. This is easily the most crafty thriller I have seen since last year’s Get Out. You will not be disappointed with this movie, and will definitely think twice about how loudly you want to eat your popcorn.
Rating: 88 loose floor nails out of 100 (88%)