A Quiet Place Keeps Audiences Silent & on the Edge of Their Seats

Release date: April 6, 2018
Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cade Woodward
Director: John Krasisinski
Studio: Platinum Dunes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes | Wikipedia

Rating:
Spoilers: Low

A Quiet Place builds tension with the absence of sound in the intimate lives of a family. With Emily Blunt and her husband John Krasinski at the helm, this film is certainly well acted. These two manage to emote without the use of their voices, showing the lengths that parents will go to for their children. 

The film starts several months after the arrival of monsters (or “angels”) arrived on earth to destroy it. They go about their lives silently, making paths of ash and sand to dampen the sounds of their feet. They utilize sign language to communicate. And they avoid most toys for their kids as they too easily create sound.

They go about their daily lives, doing laundry, cooking food, and sending up signals to other presumed survivors. Time moves forward, and this family lives on. Ever more pressing struggles face them, including a pregnancy. It is that reveal that provides the biggest moment of dread as a viewer, how will this family possibly remain silent with a baby.

And they take a fairly logical approach, rather than the more morbid one. Surprisingly, only because of a particularly shocking and gruesome event early on in the film. But viewers can be grateful for small mercies, just like this family. 

As a whole, this film is not perfect. The overall science and strategies of this film are a bit lacking. There seem to be some easy solutions to some of their problems; like if the monsters are driven by sound, why not have sound traps throughout the woods? The monsters’ use of sound seems to have very large holes (and I don’t mean their “ear holes”). In some ways, the viewer wishes that M. Night Shyamalan had made this film in his prime — because no one uses lack of sound quite like him. 

But somehow the viewer is still captivated by the idea. The audience was rapt. Popcorn hardly consumed. And understandably so; who wants to be the person making noise in a nearly silent film?

And that is where this film nearly succeeds. The lack of sound is what builds the tension, the moments when monsters are near and the characters must suppress their fear and remain silent. Emily Blunt gives an impeccable performance, her character overcoming the most in the film. And the children, Millicent Simmons, Leon Russom, and Cade Woodward, draw the audience into this world with the quiet complexities of their performances. 

Overall, this film is not nearly as horror driven as one would expect from the trailers and the poster. But it is unnerving. As someone who rarely can sit through a horror film, this one was an enticing watch. 

Oh, and this wasn’t a secret Cloverfield film. Sorry to disappoint.