A QUIET PLACE
Directed by: John Krasinski
Written by: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, and John Krasinski
Starring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe
Review by Stephanie Cooke
When it comes to horror movies, I am a wimp.
I think every review I write of a horror movie starts out this way. It’s the thing you should know about me. I avoided watching horror movies for a long time. I’ve come around, and I’m slowly trying to appreciate the genre more. I’ve even started to enjoy horror movies. Although, I’m not at the point where I can watch them in theatres or anything like that. I need to be at home where I can wrap a blanket around my face and peek out of the covers like a kid.
I heard about A Quiet Place as it hit theatres. It got pretty great reviews from what I saw, and it made me curious about it. Not curious enough to break my NO HORROR MOVIES IN THEATRES, mind you, but curious to want to know more.
A Quiet Place tells the story of a family that’s trying to survive through a monster apocalypse. They’re living out on a farm where they’ve learned to make the most of their situation and do their best to live and thrive. The monsters, it seem, hunt by sound, and any noise out of the ordinary is enough to draw the monsters in. We have a mother and father (played by real-life couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, respectively) and their three children (with another baby on the way).
Their oldest daughter was born deaf, so the family has an advantage when it comes to not making any sound. They all know ASL (American Sign Language). They’re able to communicate with each other easily. In fact, I love that the oldest daughter (Millicent Simmonds) is portrayed with a disability (her being deaf), but this isn’t a world where that’s actively working against her. Sure, she wishes that she could hear so her father works tirelessly to fix a cochlear implant for her that will help. Maybe even more than he knows…
While I love the idea of the film and many of the story elements, it didn’t feel as though it fully came together. As the film played out, I had so many questions in my mind. Things don’t entirely add up when it comes to the monsters in the film. I think the screenplay could’ve benefited from a discussion about the rules of this new world. Such as, what constitutes the monsters being drawn to their prey.
I enjoy films that don’t give us all the answers, but I appreciate having the feeling that the writers know the answers behind-the-scenes. It felt like the movie was rushed into production and no one really thought of the gaping plot holes in the film.
I don’t want to discuss it more since I feel that would venture a little too far into spoiler territory. I’ll leave it at the fact that I felt things could’ve been fleshed out a tad better. It was an interesting world that I wanted to know more about and was let down in that respect.
This was one of those scary movies that I was actually able to watch pretty much in full though (aka without covering my eyes for long periods of time). There was definitely some jump scares and I did flinch back a few times but I was able to sit through and enjoy the film’s tone and atmosphere without feeling overly anxious. I know that’s something horror fans love about horror movies but I like the suspense without the constant false scares that put me on edge.
The performances in the film are great. The true star here is Millicent Simmonds who manages to convey so many emotions through her facial expressions and signing. I love that A Quiet Place cast Simmonds in the role as someone who is actually deaf in the real world. Over the years, many people have talked about the importance of representation and how much it matters. It’s truly wonderful that they cast someone who has lived with a disability as the character has in the film has. It makes it that much more realistic and special.
A Quiet Place Blu-ray Special Features:
- Creating the Quiet – Behind the Scenes of A Quiet Place
- The Sound of Darkness – Editing Sound for A Quiet Place
- A Reason for Silence – The Visual Effects of A Quiet Place
Buy it! While I had some issues with some of the story elements in A Quiet Place, it remained an interesting take on the modern monster movie. Simmonds is a standout in the film and sells her role with no verbal speaking parts. Hopefully, she will continue to carve out a career for herself in Hollywood, and we’ll see more of her in the future.