a critiQal film review A Quiet Place (2018)

Plot: Mysterious supernatural forces attracted to sound have surfaced and are attacking all over the world. A family must now hide and live in silence at a secluded abandoned farm to survive, by avoiding every noise and communicating in sign language.

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  • ...this inventive horror story with a strong cast is a surprisingly impressive directing debut from John Krasinski.

While we kicked off our October Month of Horror this past Thursday, today marks the first day of the month we get to review a new film. And, naturally, we decided to go with the one that’s been the biggest critical darling – A Quiet Place.

Would this tale be worth our time? Or is A Quiet Place going to be yet another one of those times where we don’t really agree with the critics?

John Krasinski takes the lead in A Quiet Place, both of in front of, and behind, the cameras. As a leading man, he’s never really shown before the passion he brings to this film. Most of the time, he’s just a goofball leading the way in inane comedies, similar to how he got his start in “The Office” (TV). But, in A Quiet Place, he shows he’s got the chops to be a decent leading man in a project he really believes in, and viewers will find him both easily relatable and a staple they can rely on.

Emily Blunt backs him up nicely. As Krasinki’s wife in the film, viewers can see a bond between them that, although strained at times, never really breaks. Together, they make for a solid on-screen couple, and a real anchor for viewers introduced to this post-apocalyptic world they are living in. Without these two, the film would have been much harder to make work, and Krasinski and Blunt seem to make it happen without even breaking a sweat.

Another surprise in A Quiet Place is the strong showing of Millicent Simmonds. While she’s not exactly a household name as of yet, this film may give her a good push in that direction. Her character is much more central to the storyline than viewers may at first think, and she does a solid job of holding her own under that burden.

Behind the camera, Krasinski seems to be even more talented than he finally showcases he is in front of it. While his surprisingly good performance in front of the camera will leave viewers wondering why it took him so long, his direction behind the camera leads them to believe he may be better suited for that role in future films. His passion with the storyline is evident in each shot, and he does a good job of bringing this rather fantastical story to life. He seems to know just the right balance between threat and confrontation, and he melds them together seamlessly into the strong story behind the film.

Even the special effects are strong in A Quiet Place. The creatures themselves, whether glimpsed out of the corner of the eye or exposed fully in the camera frame, are well done, and look flawlessly put together. Whether they are CGI, animatronics or something in between, they are fleshed out amazingly well, and don’t disappoint with the teases of an arm or a leg, or even when they are finally revealed. What was the last “creature feature” horror flick that managed to accomplish that? Aliens (1986)?

There are a few films that manage to take away a sense and leave viewers all the better for it. While Blindness did a good job of doing that without sight, A Quiet Place does that without the noisy fanfare that usually accompanies horror films. By taking away the ability for the characters to create noise (the creatures attacking rely on sound rather than sight to hunt their prey), it makes the film get a bit more creative, and gives viewers a fresh take on the horror genre.

Highly original, and a lot stronger than its “creature feature” storyline would have viewers thinking, it’s no wonder A Quiet Place has garnered some rave reviews. With a sequel already announced, chances are that could change with the next installment. But, this first film, with surprisingly good performances in front of the camera, and the heretofore unknown talent of Krasinski in the director’s chair, A Quiet Place is much better than we were expecting.

Despite a bit of a cheesy ending, and the rather long length of time it takes for the characters to catch on to something the viewers already picked up on (you know, typical horror film staples), we still really enjoyed A Quiet Place. Check it out, and see if its originality doesn’t snare you too.

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