Director: John Krasinski
Writer: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck
Released: April 2018
Starring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski
I was expecting a lot from this movie because I had heard and read incredible reviews.
Without reading up about what the film was about – as I correctly thought this may giveaway too much about this thriller – I went in with optimism and excitement. I was about to be thrilled by my favourite actress, Emily Blunt.
It’s about a family who is living in the year 2020 among blind alien beings who hunt using only sound. Therefore, everyone must be silent if they are to survive. This dystopian future was brilliantly thought-out as the way of life changes significantly, from not eating with noisy knives and forks, to walking barefooted on sand rather than stones.
A Quiet Place sets the story up quickly, explains the world and what is at stake within the first 15 minutes or so. Despite the silence of the beginning, your attention is held fast. The story grows in suspense quickly, accelerated by the fact that you don’t actually see the monsters in the flesh until a lot later. They only show extreme close-ups and flashes of them in the distance. Classic The Blair Witch Project technique, whereby your imagination makes it a lot scarier than it is.
I’m struggling to say much more without giving the game away because the trailer gives away next to nothing – and rightly so! Because the less you know about this movie, the better it is.
What I loved about this film is that it is unlike anything I have ever seen before. If I had to choose a likeness, I’d probably say War of the Worlds is the closest because of the alien invasion story line with a family in the centre of it.
However, A Quite Place focused heavily on the unspoken – for obvious reasons. This meant that the emotional tension was very high because the rocky relationships between some of the family members was amplified by the silence.
It is a genius concept that was so well thought-through and executed.
The actors did particularly well with not over-acting, which would have been easy to do as they had very little dialogue to rely on, compounded by them using sign language in the film. They were essentially in a silent movie and would have had to go back to basics.
I was thinking who else could have played Emily Blunt’s role and I couldn’t think of anyone who could have done better. The character was strong, warm, modest, maternal and brave. So I understand why Blunt’s action and romance background would have been appealing.
Of course, the real reason she was chosen is because her husband in real life, John Krasinski (from US series The Office), played her character’s husband in the movie (he looks an awful lot like Shia LeBeouff with that beard). He also directed and co-wrote the film. Nevertheless, I don’t think there was anyone who could have played the role better.
Their children in the movie were brilliant. The daughter is deaf, and the actor who played her is deaf in real life. She didn’t look much like either of the parents in the movie, but I can see why they cast her anyway. She was faultless.
While this movie is certainly a horror/thriller, its dramatic story line is extremely emotional indeed. I was sobbing all the way through it. There is so much at stake and this family love each other so much – they won’t let anything happen to each other. But in this dangerous environment not everything is within their control.
From a ponsy scholarly point-of-view this movie will be dissected and studied in film school for years to come. They used sound, or more appropriately the lack-of sound, really well. Particularly the shots from the point-of-view of their deaf daughter where the sound is muted completely.
However, from an average audience member’s point-of-view, this film is Blu-Ray-worthy and a brilliant watch… Until the final scene.
Up until the final scene, this movie was a strong 9/10. Only losing marks due to a couple of disagreements I personally had with the story line, and a couple of pointless scary moments that were included just to make you jump. While I expected that from cheap and dirty Hollywood horrors, I didn’t expect it from A Quiet Place. Having said that, it only happened once or twice.
So yes, the ending. The ending didn’t conclude as I expected, nor did it wrap up the family’s problems satisfactorily. This 90-minute film needed an extra 10 minutes to show what we all assume happened. (I’m struggling not to give too much away here.) Therefore, A Quiet Place is a strong 8/10.
I highly recommend watching it, even if you’re not a horror fan. Yes, it is certainly scary, but more than anything, it is full of hope and strength and an emotional family bond. You will cry more through admiration and sadness than you will from being terrified.
Jodie’s rating: 8/10