★ ★ ★ ★ ☆—While certainly not perfect, still damn good and incredibly suspenseful
Typically, A Quiet Place is not my style of movie. Horror movies and thrillers usually make me sleep with the lights on rather than excite me to any degree. I was expecting the movie to keep me up for at least a week.
A Quiet Place didn’t do that.
The movie takes place only a couple years in the future and follows a small family, with the parents played by Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, and the children played by newcomers Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, and Cade Woodward. This family is trapped on a farm and stalked by menacing beasts who are completely blind and utterly vicious, able to hear the smallest sounds from far away. This premise, while simplistic, was executed incredibly.
The movie’s construction was brilliant in a way that most movies just can’t accomplish these days, relying heavily on the idea of showing, not telling. While there are only about a dozen spoken lines throughout the movie, each moment of spoken dialogue gives the movie more weight.
The sound, and lack of it, was breathtaking. Each moment of actual sound—from dice rolling to lamps being knocked over to the shrieks of the monsters—were electrifying simply because they stand out in the silence. And the sound, and lack of it, had an effect on the audience as well— I barely made a sound throughout the whole film, and it was the first time I had ever felt truly angry at someone talking in a theatre. Being quiet was just part of the movie experience.
The pacing of every scene blew me away, leaving me breathless and scrambling for online sources to find the end of the story. I was glued to the screen in suspense and to make sure I didn’t miss a single line of dialogue, expressed through Sign Language. And the detail put into every small moment, emphasizing the dangerous and silent world these characters live in, only serves to push you further into it. There were moments that threw in details I would never have thought of, such as walking barefoot on sand or loading a shotgun under a blanket to minimize sound. And since there were no spoken dialogue to carry emotion traditionally, the sheer acting ability shown by each member of the cast was even more impressive.
While the film was amazing, I still had a few issues. My biggest was the fact that there was no in-world explanation or details about the monsters. It wasn’t until afterward that I discovered that various trailers had revealed the monster’s origin and purpose. While not necessarily needed in the movie—these things were attacking the main characters and that’s all you needed to know—a little more information would have been appreciated.
Overall, while the movie showed the audience everything rather than telling us everything, I would have appreciated showing us just a little more. Another, as seen by friends who had seen the movie, felt that the lack of dialogue and the slower parts of the film, especially in the beginning, translated to a boring film. While I certainly don’t agree, I see their point.
Coming from someone not typically a fan of this genre, A Quiet Place stands out as an invigorating and suspenseful thriller that’ll make you—well, not scream, but jump in your seat.