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“A Quiet Place” is as silent as it is deadly

In this Aug. 13, 2015 file photo, John Krasinski arrives at The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Annual Grants Banquet in Beverly Hills, Calif. The off-Broadway Public Theater said Thursday, Oct. 1, that Krasinski will make his theatrical debut in playwright Sarah Burgess’s “Dry Powder,” which has a behind-the-scenes look inside a private equity firm. (Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP, File)

John Salangsang/Invision/AP

In this Aug. 13, 2015 file photo, John Krasinski arrives at The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Annual Grants Banquet in Beverly Hills, Calif. The off-Broadway Public Theater said Thursday, Oct. 1, that Krasinski will make his theatrical debut in playwright Sarah Burgess’s “Dry Powder,” which has a behind-the-scenes look inside a private equity firm. (Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP, File)

Heidi Wagenbach, Staff writer

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“A Quiet Place” is a 2018 horror, drama, sci-fi film directed by John Krasinski, who also stars in it with his wife, Emily Blunt, as couple Lee and Evelyn Abbott. Millicent Simmons and Noah Jupe also star in this stealthy thriller as the Abbott’s children, Regan and Marcus. This movie was written by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, and went to AMC Theatres on Friday, April 13 (appropriate I know). I’ll try to summarize the plot in a nice, spoiler free version.

Basically, this family of four lives in complete silence, trying to avoid nasty monsters (the creatures’ origin is unknown) who are blind and hunt completely based on a highly evolved sense of sound. Each scene is gripping and equally important. This movie has little dialogue; the characters hardly ever speak to one another. Their eldest daughter is deaf, so communicating through sign language comes easily to the Abbott family. Normally, in movies, people snacking on popcorn or sipping Diet Coke isn’t bothersome, but in “A Quiet Place,” it’s completely unacceptable. The silence is deafening in this case, and apart from an occasional soundtrack score, the scenes are dialogue free. The viewer cannot look away, even for a second, because something might be missed. Throughout the entire hour and a half, I was clenching the arms of the comfy seat, afraid to even breathe alongside these characters.

What really stood out in this movie was definitely the use of sound. As I already mentioned, Regan is hearing impaired and she is put more at risk, since she is oblivious to what is around her. When flashing to her perspective, there is a hum in the speakers of the theater, then returning back to the family, the audience can hear more clearly. As for the monster’s point of view, the whole ambiance is turned up to high definition sound, if that’s even possible.

The actors did a fantastic job, however Blunt’s acting really stood out from among the rest. She performed amazingly, and the audience can sympathize for her during the more intense scenes. Her character, Evelyn, is pregnant in this world of no noise. From the very beginning, the audience has to realize, oh no. How will this be possible? As a mother role, and being Krasinski’s partner in real life, with children of their own, she entirely embraced this part. According to an interview, Krasinski said the infamous bathtub scene that audiences saw a brief
sneak peek in the trailer, was only shot once. Other scenes were absolutely chilling, but I won’t elaborate too much; there is delicate information I won’t ruin. Overall, Krasinski’s direction of using sound, close-up shots and sign language only adds to the realistic terror these people must be feeling.

The strengths of this movie are that “A Quiet Place” introduces a new type of horror that we, as an audience, haven’t seen before. Most scary movies nowadays are cheap old jumpscares or nothing but slasher, bloody flicks. “A Quiet Place,” while the use of jumpscares is utilized, is effective because of the soundlessness. Rather than pointlessly aiming a loud, sudden freak out moment at the audience, the jumpscare is built up through this tension. Another strong point to note is the use of the cast, or should I say, lack of. There are only four actors throughout this whole movie portraying the family we pray nothing bad will happen to. There are some side characters, but focusing so intensely on so little characters really gets a chance for them to shine in the spotlight.

The weaknesses of this movie are minor but still important. For example, the native place of these monsters. Are they from another planet? Were they some post-apocalyptic mistake made from the leaders of Earth while experimenting to create something new? It is unknown. The only background we get is from newspapers scattered on Lee’s desk, and even the journalists don’t know. The headlines are based on what we already know; be quiet and don’t make a sound and in turn, you’ll live. Another flaw was as the movie progressed, it seemed to get repetitive. “A
Quiet Place” was utterly horrifying at first, but you don’t get to entirely know the family before the monsters keep terrorizing them over again and again and again. This film was thrilling when it was pure silence, when the creatures you knew were out there, ready to strike at any moment. When their appearance began to become overly utilized, the movie became dull and very predictable.

I would recommend this movie to fellow “The Office” fans, since seeing Krasinski not playing a role like good-hearted Jim is interesting, and you also get a taste of his directing style, which is very unique. The movie itself is rating PG-13, which is odd to note, since most horror movies are rated R. There are moments of cringey blood and gore, however very minimal. In the end, “A Quiet Place,” is a solid movie that has the audience engaged and involved
in the duration. Personally, I would score it a 7 out of 10. David Sims wrote a review for The Atlantic, “ ‘A Quiet Place’ is an undoubtedly taxing affair for the nerves; fortunately, it’s also a deeply affecting one.”

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“A Quiet Place” is as silent as it is deadly