The title of this film works on a number of levels. It describes how the characters live their lives, it describes what America, has become in the world of the film, and it also describes the best way to watch the film. Turn off the lights, turn down your phone, and immerse yourself in this brilliantly made thriller from first time director, co-writer, and star John Krasinski (“The Office”) that also stars his real-life wife, Emily Blunt (“The Girl on the Train”) and a couple of excellent young actors as their on-screen kids.
Krasinski and Blunt star as a married couple, Lee and Evelyn, living with their kids in rural America in the aftermath of a cataclysmic incident which has left most of the population wiped out apart from a few scattered pockets of civilisation. The survivors have had to adapt to living in a world where making too much noise can kill you. In order to show how high stakes of the film, the prologue for the film shows exactly how dangerous it can be where we see the family suffer a tragic incident. We move forward to a year later and Evelyn is heavily pregnant and the family are still somewhat reeling from the incident one year prior. Lee, while trying to provide for the household and keep the family safe, is also hard at work on a cochlear implant for their daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds, who is deaf in real life). Regan is a vitally important character in the film and Simmonds, in only her second film, does an incredible job. It just shows how much non-deaf actors can generate emotion through dialogue. Simmonds doesn’t have this luxury and relies on her excellent expressions and the delivery of her dialogue through sign language to give a terrific performance. Krasinski and Blunt make for a great double act as the put upon parents in an extraordinary situation. It’s hard enough to raise kids, but imagine not being able to talk to them properly? It’s a fascinating question that the film raises.
Krasinski takes his time in showing us the unseen terror that is stalking the family in the film, and instead focuses on the use of sound, or the lack of sound to generate the tension. It also delights in putting our characters in situations where not making a sound is not really an option. The jumpy moments in the film are also accentuated by the eerie silence that leads up to them, and as a result music is used very sparingly.
“A Quiet Place” feels like a more stripped down version of M Night Shyamalan’s “Signs”, and while it’s not a the type of horror film that will haunt your dreams, it’s a real rollercoaster ride that will generate a lot of nervous laughter as well as plenty of jumps and screams, but not at the expense of interesting characters and a good story.
You don’t just watch this film. You experience it.
These are the thoughts and words of our Kevin Dillon @kevinwritestuff.
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