Directed by “The Office” star John Krasinski, “A Quiet Place” is a horror film that takes place after a species of monsters wipes out the planet. The only way to survive in this post-apocalyptic world is stay completely silent. The film follows Krasinski’s character’s family as they try to survive in this new muted world.
The main draw of “A Quiet Place” is that the movie has almost no spoken dialogue. I could probably count on two hands how many spoken lines are uttered throughout the entire movie. The way this silent premise was executed is the highlight of the movie. Characters speak almost entirely in sign language and most of the time, the only noise you can hear is the sound of footsteps. The film uses this to its advantage by using sound as a weapon against its audience. You end up being on the edge of your seat for almost the entire movie because you know that at any second a loud noise could happen and spell the end for one of these characters you’ve grown to love.
Speaking of characters, this film handled its characters exceptionally well. It even manages to do this despite the fact that the characters don’t talk. The standouts were Krasinski, of course, and the young actress who played his daughter in the film, Millicent Simmonds. Krasinski plays the role of a father trying to keep his family alive in this killer-monster ridden world extremely well. Simmonds does an amazing job as well, especially considering she is a child-actor and that this is only her second acting role. She plays a deaf child (and she also happens to be deaf in real life) who is experiencing typical teenage things, rebelling against your parents, etc., but all of this is compounded on the fact that she’s straddled with guilt by things from her past while she also has to survive in a broken world. There’s some scenes in the film that were absolutely gut-wrenching. I can’t remember the last time I experienced feeling that way while watching a film, so I must commend Krasinski.
Another highlight of the film is Krasinski’s directing. The cinematography elevated the film to new heights. For example, if Krasinski’s character was the focus of the scene, we’d hear the scene normally. However, if Simmond’s character was the focal point, the entire scene would be deaf. I thought this was an amazing touch. It makes it easier to connect to Simmond’s character. It also adds extra tension when we the audience know that something is happening, but Simmond’s character can’t hear it, and neither can we.
“A Quiet Place” wasn’t perfect, though. The film was around an hour-and-a-half long, and it feels like a lot of scenes were cut. Some things happen during the climax of the film that are never set up and they just leave you scratching your head as to why they’re happening. It was only around two scenes, but these are the only two scenes where I was completely taken out of the movie. I also had a problem with a major plot point, but I can’t go into that without giving spoilers, so that’s all I can say on that.
Another major problem is of no fault of the film’s, but your enjoyment of this movie will be heavily dependent on how your specific theater audience behaves. Due to the silent nature of the film, if you have an audience that won’t shut up, it will be a huge damper on your enjoyment. In my specific instance, even the sound of people coughing, and ruffling popcorn bags brought me out of the film. I couldn’t even imagine how upset I’d be if someone was talking or being disruptive in some other way.
Overall, I really enjoyed “A Quiet Place” and it felt like a breath of fresh air. The film had a strong premise, characters that you can empathize with, and standout directing by Krasinski. However, it did have some slight problems with it’s short length and some other plot points. I highly recommend the film if you want to be on the edge of your seat for an entire hour-and-a-half, just pray that you get a theater audience that respects the silent nature of the film.