There has been a lot of buzz about A Quiet Place but does it live up to the hype?
The premise of the film takes place a year after blind monsters appear on Earth causing the entire human population on the planet to go into lock down. The only way to survive is to avoid attracting these blind monsters, which means absolutely silence, not even as much as a cough or a sneeze is allowed.
Members of the Abbot family are among the survivors who have adapted to their new way of life. They communicate purely by sign language which they have previously learned due to having a deaf daughter, Reagen (Millicent Simmonds). One day, while the family is returning home from an abandoned town, tragedy strikes on a bridge as one of their own ends up being killed by a monster.
The story fast forwards a few months and we find out that Evelyn (Emily Blunt) is now heavily pregnant and Reagen is blaming herself for what has happened on the bridge. Meanwhile Lee (John Krasinski) continues to build on ways to communicate with his family and neighbours in order to protect themselves from the predators.
The best part of A Quiet Place is the lack of sounds and dialogue, writers Krasinski (also acted as director), Scott Beck, and Bryan Woods uses silence as the major tool to cause tension and anticipation on screen. Nothing is quite as jarring as pure silence even if not much else is happening in the story. Limited spoken words also means the actors had to bring their best acting skills to the table, which they certainly have. Their abilities at expressing what is happening without saying anything means you won’t miss having dialogue.
While the concept of silence as a survival mode is unique, the storyline around it is not. The writers don’t bother going into detail about where these monsters have come from and why they are here. We see fleeting newspaper headlines on screen about their arrival but that’s it. There is no beginning to the story, just a middle and an end.
There are some aspects to the script that were clearly added to make the story go forward even if it means not making much sense. In 400 plus days of doing laundry and setting up surveillance in the basement of their house, not one characters noticed a huge nail sticking up in the middle of the stairs until Evelyn ends up in labour and steps on it – just in time for a monster to also enter the basement.
Even though the set up for it is less than believable, Evelyn silently attempting to stop her pain and baby from coming out while hiding away from a monster is one of the most memorable scene from the movie. It has enough tension and suspense to have you at the edge of your seat while simultaneously cringing.
Many are calling A Quiet Place a horror movie but if there is one genre it belongs to it’s sci-fi. Sure, it has some elements that some would find scary but overall there is very little about this story that belongs to the horror genre. 7/10
A Quiet Place is in cinemas now.