I love a premise so simple and robust that you can capture it in a trailer and the movie can be Exactly As Advertised. A Quiet Place is that movie. If you’ve seen the trailer then you know what the entire movie is about. It’s not a question of what happens, really, it’s a question of how it happens. Though to be honest, I still had some problems with the premise. If even the slightest sound can bring these beasties to you, then how do protect yourself when you sleep? People fart in their sleep, it’s fact. So… special underwear? Oh, and people can snore. Not sure why I went to butt stuff first, but you get my point. You can’t be guarded all the time. Turns out with A Quiet Place this idea is not a bug, it’s a feature.
A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.
A Quiet Place doesn’t concern itself as to where these critters came from and as a viewer you really don’t have to think about that because you’re too busy worrying about whether a particular character is going to live through the next scene. NOBODY has plot shield, trust me. A Quiet Place kicks that idea right in the crotch within the first 10 minutes – it is brutally unsentimental and these beasties are not messing around. The suspense builds immediately and doesn’t really let up until the credits roll. Five minutes in, I thought to myself: “I’m not going to make it”. You might think that after a while you’d become desensitised but I can tell you, that doesn’t happen.
This movie does something to you. I have never seen a more quiet movie theater, even in the most horrific bits, nobody gasped or even whispered (we would have heard). And afterwards, I found myself walking quietly and handling things in the extremely careful soundproof way all the characters did through the movie. It’s a brilliant exploration of how much we rely on sound in our world. Someone could be dying within 20 feet of you and you might never know unless they made a noise to alert you. How can you have a screaming argument with someone if you can’t scream or even stamp your foot in anger? It’s like a game of charades except way less funny.
I should tell you how well this movie was made. Because it was. There was an level of detail that’s amazing. The first few opening shots establish, without a word being spoken, that we are in a post-apocalyptic world, the few survivors live in constant fear and that any noise at all is deadly. Most of this is sold by the acting; the cast was amazing. Everyone had their own way of dealing – Emily Blunt’s character’s unfailing support, John Krasinski’s character’s bravery, Millicent Simmonds’s character’s rage and Noah Jupe’s character’s stoicism. It worked so well. And the monsters were awesome. You don’t actually see a lot of them in the first half and I was worried that this would continue, but eventually you get a good look and it is worth the wait.
So is A Quiet Place worth watching? Yes, most definitely. It’s so well done. You could call it a Horror, but it’s not. There’s no real jump scares. It’s more terrifying than a traditional Thriller or Suspense though. Don’t bring the kids and don’t drink coffee right before. I was a little sad that there was no Fan Service, though. I crush hard on John Krasinski and they had plenty of opportunities. I suppose that might have distracted from the psychological stress and we couldn’t have that. But still, it’s one of those movies you think about afterwards. Extra points too, for being original. We need more films that stand alone rather than being based on something else. Here’s hoping that there will NOT be A Quiet Place 2 – Silent Running.