If the message to silence your phone was not clear enough…
“A Quiet Place”
By Jason Wiese
Movie theaters always stress the importance of silence during the showing of a film. Talking aloud, leaving your phone ringer on, or even bringing an infant with you to the show can result in being forcibly removed from the auditorium. In my screening of A Quiet Place, which centers on a family who must stay as quiet as possible to stay alive, all three of the aforementioned rules were broken (okay, bringing an infant to the movies is not really against the rules, but I personally believe that it at least should be if you are seeing a horror movie). To make matters worse, I could hear another much louder film playing in a nearby auditorium. However, if this says anything about the quality of this film in which silence is of extremely high importance, it did barely anything to hinder the experience.
Co-writer, director and star John Krasinski (Jim Halpert from the U.S. version of The Office… no, really) and his wife (Emily Blunt, in this film and in real life) must protect their three children (Noah Jupe, Millicent Simmonds and Cade Woodward) from vicious, predatory creatures that seem to have already wiped out most of humanity. This family’s most efficient deterrent: silence. These monsters hunt purely on sound, forcing our protagonists to avoid making a peep, or the next sound they make could be their last.
Krasinski has gone on record claiming that he is not a fan of horror movies, and that may be the secret to this film’s success. While it has some of the most intense moments I have seen on film as of recently which genuinely caused me to fear I was going to hit the filmgoers sitting next to me with every jump, it is the attention brought to the storytelling that makes it work. The film’s most effective moments do not always focus on the family’s external struggles, but their internal struggles. As often as they fight for survival, they are also fighting for stability, a dream they lose faith in day by day.
I never would have taken Jim Halpert for a horror director, but he absolutely nails the task. Whatever he chooses to put his directorial stamp on next already has captivated my interest. A Quiet Place is a clever, frightening and thoroughly fantastic horror film, but at its core, it is a moving family story that proves that actions can speak louder than words.