A Quiet Place Review: Tense Silence
A Quiet Place is one of the best, most original and tense horror films I’ve seen in a long time. The entire film relies on the concept that a family, living in the middle of nowhere, isn’t able to speak at all or else creatures, that hunt by sound, will get them. It’s a brilliant and awesomely told tale, that at ninety minutes, never outstayed its welcome. It borders on being a Silent Film, and has some terrific performances, as well as featuring some solid directing from Krasinski.
A Quiet Place sets the audiences’ expectations up, straight out of the gate as the film opens, when we learn it is “Day 69” of the attack by the creatures, and are introduced to our main family, The Abbott’s. The opening scene is unexpectedly and intensely brilliant as it tells the audience what kind of ride they’re in for. The rest of the film follows this same sort of structure and beat, with twists and turns I didn’t even see coming. For example, in one scene, a lamp falls over and starts a fire. Its quickly extinguished, but shows us how our main characters are indeed quite worried, and are not trying to make a single sound.
There are a limited amount of characters in the film, and with the lack of dialogue the performances have to carry the movie quite a bit. Krasinski directs and stars with his wife, Emily Blunt, and she is terrific in the role,) of the worried mother. I can’t think of many actresses who could convey such paralyzed fear combined with natural, maternal instincts, severe pain, and badassery, in ninety minutes with little to no dialogue. It’s quite a remarkable performance. Meanwhile, Krasinski proves once again that he’s merely not just Jim Halpert (The Office), in this role. The character he plays here is an extremely ordinary father who goes all “heroic” in order to save his kids. With the lack of dialogue, his worried expressions are more noticeable. The actors playing the kids (Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe) are good, too, as they have to try and stay alive.
The cinematography, by Charlotte Bruus Christensen, has a real “grainy” feel to it. Additionally, Marco Beltrami’s musical score goes through most of the horror cliches, loud sound effects, with some piano for the family thrown in for good measure. It’s not a score I’d listen to on its own, but it’s definitely effective. The creatures are a very generic bug-based design, but it works, especially the few times when you actually see the creature up close.
Aside from a few unnecessary jump-scare attacks, there’s not much I can really complain about regarding A Quiet Place. It is a leisurely paced film, that really works well. The first bit of a dialogue isn’t even said until about forty minutes in. It’s remarkable just how well this film is doing considering its Silent Movie nature. For his second feature film as a director, Krasinski did a real fine job, and this film is highly recommended.
Playing now in Lebanon, Monday Through Thursday at Entertainment Cinemas, 12:40 PM, 3:35 PM, and 6:40 PM, and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 12:40, 3:35, 6:40, and 9:40 PM