A Spoiler-Free Review of A Quiet Place
I don’t get out to the movies as much as I used to. Life is busy and my couch is comfy. But some movies, like A Quiet Place, demand my immediate attention. Thankfully I ate the majority of my contraband home-microwaved popcorn before the film began, because as you know, it was…quiet. A few times I tried to nibble on some kernels, giving up with a red hot shame on cheeks for disturbing those around me. That was perhaps the best surprise, pointed out by my movie mate, Horror Rewind creator Kelly Florence. As we drove back to my place, Kelly mentioned that everyone in the theater respected A Quiet Place. There were no loud pop sippers, or obnoxious kissing couples. No whispering arguments or serial sneezers. For ninety minutes, those of us in the packed theater shared in a unique cinematic experience. We collectively shut off our phones, zipped our lips, and allowed ourselves to be transported.
I’m glad to say A Quiet Place deserves that respect. Directed by earnest faced John Krasinski, and starring himself and his way too talented wife Emily Blunt, this movie is the kind of horror movie to get excited about. Unlike the powerhouse of last year, Get Out, A Quiet Place is less concerned about heavy, groundbreaking themes. It is more interested in the silent exploration of character, the weight of grief, and the desire to keep our family safe. There is an insulated, compelling nature to the film that stayed with me long after I left. It is said there are only three total minutes of dialogue, and not once did that bother me. This is one of those movies that as a horror author I spent a good amount of time wishing I’d been clever enough to come up with. It’s a simple premise; the creatures (sort of demagorgon like) will get you if you make a sound. Yet, it is the execution of A Quiet Place, directed with patience, and acted with incredible depth, that buoys it.
One unexpected gem is Millicent Simmonds, deaf in the film and in real life. Millicent plays the eldest daughter, Regan. Instead of the film focusing solely on her inability to hear, the script gives her much more to work with. She has a complicated relationship with her father, which comes to a head during the pulse-pounding back half of A Quiet Place.
Without giving too much away, I can assure you, you will be holding your breath while experiencing this movie. Most of the suspense revolves around the true star, Emily Blunt. Those of you who listen to Horror Rewind, or have read the Attic Light, know one of my pet peeves is when a horror movie is about a woman, but then a man steals the climax. This does not happen in A Quiet Place. Yes, John Krasinski get his moment to shine, but it is mom and daughter who are poised to be the heroes.
A Quiet Place is a satisfyingly unique horror movie, replete with complicated characters and decent chills. My favorite kind of film. You’ll find it haunting you, and also asking yourself if you’d survive a solid day without talking or making a racket. (I’ve decided my husband, known for his loud, clomping gait, would die first). If you think you can make it ninety minutes, head to the theater. And eat your snack during the trailers. Trust me.