A Quiet Place
A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.
There are movies that take their time building a mood and movies that pull you right into their carefully crafted worlds pretty much right away. John Krakinski’s A Quiet Place is definitely the latter. The first thing the viewer sees is a barefoot family scavenging for supplies in the middle of an abandoned supermarket. However, they’re doing so completely silently – not exactly average for a family that includes three children. We’re promptly informed via a title card that we’re on “Day 89” of whatever’s going on and with that, our journey into this very quiet world begins.
In addition to directing A Quiet Place, Krakinski also stars in it as family patriarch Lee Abbott. Real-life wife, Emily Blunt co-stars as Lee’s wife Evelyn Abbott. Krakinski also had a hand in penning the script, as it is as a rewrite of a spec script he was given. Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brian Fuller share the production credit.
As the opening sequence establishes quite nicely, Quiet Place’s Abbott family isn’t living in the same familiar world we know and love. They live in a post-apocalyptic version of our own world, an Earth that’s been invaded and overtaken by a blind alien species that hunts using their ultra-keen sense of hearing. Even the slightest sound can easily spell doom for human survivors, hence the preoccupation with silence. A Quiet Place follows the story of the Abbott family as they fight to stay alive.
It’s obvious from the very first minutes of A Quiet Place that the film’s near silence will also provide the foundation for its creativity and suspense. The human beings that still inhabit the now alien-occupied world communicate primarily via gestures and barely heard whispers. The presence of deaf daughter Regan also allows for sign language, but it’s the facial expressions and body language that really speak volumes here. When all is quiet, an audience dials in especially intently to avoid missing anything critical and it’s clear that Krakinski understands this in the masterful way he directs this film.
It might be tempting to assume that the focal point of A Quiet Place would be the aliens, but you’d be very wrong if you did. This is a film that’s all about its human characters. The all-encompassing quietness of the film is something the actors leverage to emote on an entirely new level. Krakinski and Blunt shine as Lee and Evelyn to be sure. However, the incredible deaf actress Millicent Simmonds (Wonderstruck) positively knocks it out of the park as Regan while young Noah Jupe (Suburbicon) shines as her brother, Marcus Abbott. Their heartfelt performances are interspersed with full-on action sequences that keep this film moving right along.
For a movie that’s as stripped down and minimal as A Quiet Place really is, this is a film that speaks volumes and is an absolute masterpiece for it. This is definitely not one you’ll want to miss, especially if you’re a fan of other genre films that leverage the power and heaviness of silence and dread including Hush, It Comes at Night and Hereditary.