There is something to be said for innovation in media and it doesn’t happen enough these days. Much of today’s music, television shows, video games and movies are remakes, rehashes or just plain copies of something else. Many are sequels and many are not even really worth talking about. Then someone challenges the status quo and makes a film like A Quiet Place.
A Quiet Place takes place in the future. How far in the future, it doesn’t matter, it could be tomorrow, it could be a hundred years from now, and that is the first thing that really makes this film accessible. It never needs to tell you when it takes place, other than it is happening and you are along for the ride.
The movie itself is about the time after some catastrophe. Somehow or another, creatures have invaded the Earth, and it is not important as to where they are from, but what they can do. What they can do is simple but it makes them all the more frightening. They can hear you. These things hunt by sound, they listen and, the moment anyone or anything lets their guard down, they pounce with a ferocious appetite.
The film follows a family unit who are trying to survive the brave new world. The family is comprised of a husband, wife and three children, two boys and a girl. The girl happens to be deaf and that plays a major role in the story that follows, but I won’t spoil it for you.
To say this is an intense film is an understatement. As a society, many of us take sound for granted. It is a part of our everyday lives, from our cars, to our ipads, everything makes noise and it is not until you really listen that you realize just how much noise we make as human beings. This film plays off of that very idea, the idea that sound, in any unexpected form, can be the cause of your death. Yell out at the wrong moment, dead. Snap a twig, dead. Drop a pan…well you get the idea. This in itself creates an unnerving atmosphere that really keeps the film interesting and frightening, Throughout the movie you find yourself stifling your own breath so as not to give away the location of the family on the screen in front of you. It is intense and that is only part of what makes it so good.
Director John Krasinski and his wife Emily Blunt may be the title headliners of this film but the real star is young actor Millicent Simmonds. Millicent is new to the game, having only been in a handful of films, the 15 year old actress is something of a newcomer. In the movie she plays the eldest child of the family who happens to also be deaf. In the film, this trait gives her both an advantage and disadvantage in a world where sound itself can be deadly but if I say too much, I would be spoiling it for you. To say she is amazing is certainly not giving her enough props, without a single word, she evokes more emotion than most actors with twice the experience. Millicent is certainly one to watch out for.
In addition to Milli is, Noah Jupe who plays the younger brother in the family. Unlike Milli’s character, Noah is afraid of everything and due to this, he finds himself in a position where he has to be brave. Trust me, the payoff is worth it.
Everyone else is terrific as well. From Krasinsky himself to the other kids in the family. They all do a wonderful job portraying a family who have learned to survive in silence.
Sound and Special Effects
One aspect of the film that was amazing was the use of sound. Most of the dialogue is done in sign language as it is the safest way to communicate. Although there is very little spoken dialogue the music itself does a great job pushing the terror and intensity of the film to the top. Marco Beltrami, who was also responsible for the score of The Wolverine and World War Z, did an excellent job making sure the score was impactful but also not overwhelming to the idea of a silent world.
The creature effects are simple yet effective and, when you finally see the creatures themselves, you are not dissapointed. While they are certainly CG, whatever method that was used made them look and feel as if they were on the screen with the actors the entire time.
The Bottom line
If you like suspense, if you like horror, this is certainly a film for you. I can not express how delighted I was when this film was finally made available for home viewing. Many films today are about how loud, bright and boysterous they are, but it is when all of that is taken away that you get a masterpiece like A Quiet Place.
A Quiet place is currently available in digital format and arrives on home video format on July 10th. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it.
Late To The Game 7/1/2018
Thank you for reading today. I hope you enjoyed the review. If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and also a complete review of Star Trek Discovery. We also have a fun Retro TV Review series in which we are currently reviewing the entire Star Trek The Next Generation Series, episode by episode.
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