HOLLYWOOD—The words I want to say about “A Quiet Place” just simply will not do it justice. This by far is NOT only the best flick I’ve seen so far in 2018, it is easily the best film I’ve watched in years. This is not speaking solely from the perspective of a horror buff, but someone who has been dying to see a movie capture the pure element of horror that is so difficult to capture in a jar: suspense.
This film starring real-life couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski is utterly superb. It clicks on a bevy of cylinders including fantastic acting, an original concept to die for, thrills galore and direction that is so simple, yet effective it sends chills down the spine. So where do we begin? Let’s begin with the premise, which sees the Abbott family doing its best to sustain a life in a post-apocalyptic Earth, where it seems civilization has disappeared as we know it. The most important thing to understand about this movie where sound plays a vital role is the first 30 minutes of the movie there is virtually no sound, and there is a reason for that.
Krasinki stars as Lee Abbott, the patriarch of the family that is doing everything possible to ensure his family survives and outwits a group of spider-like, alien-faced creatures that attack at the mere presence of sound. Yeah, that’s quite scary right? Of course it is; a concept so unique and original you have to ask yourself, why in the hell didn’t I come up with it. On Lee’s journey is his wife Evelyn (Blunt), who just so happens to be pregnant, and their children: Regan (Millicent Simmonds), Marcus (Noah Jupe), and Beau (Cade Woodward).
The opening sequence is fantastic because as a viewer you don’t quite know where it is going, but when it climaxes, it makes perfect sense, and without spoiling too much, it’s a shocker to say the least. Seems the horror genre is really not afraid of what used to be a given rule of not putting children in harm’s way; and when done tastefully it works in my opinion. For a movie all about sound, I was enthralled with the fact that there was bare dialogue; why? It allows you to connect with the characters, and further sutures you into this narrative. I mean you instantly become hooked, and you don’t let go until the film’s closing credits.
I cannot recall the last time I jumped, grabbed tight of the theater seat or had my hand over my mouth in utter chaos wondering what was going to happen and tensing up with the events as they played out. The Abbott clan uses ASL (American Sign Language) to communicate with one another. This isn’t simply to prevent detection from being hunted by these creatures, but to also communicate with Regan, who is actually deaf. Look, for Krasinki to be a first time director, I praised him highly for making sure a deaf actress was actually cast for this role.
Simmonds is fantastic as Regan. The nuance in her emotions on her face, her ability to convey fear, sadness and anger through her movements impressed me to the core. Do I believe a non-deaf actress could convey such emotions? No, I don’t and it’s a testament to Hollywood that it’s okay and you should aim a lot more to cast actors who are deaf for characters who are actually deaf. It may appear scary, but it adds an element to the character development and to the narrative that so many movies of the past have missed out on.
I think I’m more invested in this because I know so many people who are deaf and communicate with ASL and while some might consider that a disadvantage, those who are deaf don’t see it that way. It’s such an important message for so many Americans who don’t always see the plight of others because we’re so engrossed in our selves. It’s not about feeling sorry, it’s about being empathetic and realizing just because someone is deaf doesn’t mean they’re incapable of doing the same things as everyone else.
Krasinski wears multiple hats also serving as a writer and director for the film, and for his first-time behind the camera, Hollywood better watch out. There is such a nuance, and cleverness to how he directs some of the most spine-tingling scenes in this movie. I mean that seen with Evelyn in the bath tub, whew, that might have been the most unnerved I’ve sat in a theater seat in years. The suspense reminds me so much of John Carpenter’s “Halloween,” which remains my favorite horror film of all-time. The use of the camera and the use of SOUND to rattle the viewer are exceptional.
With “A Quiet Place” you’re watching a movie all about sound, and in the absence of sound it leaves you more on edge, so when something jumps out or catches you off guard, not only is the suspense heightened, but the payoff is totally worth it. These alien like creatures, are vicious fiends, and it helps that the audience doesn’t really get a clear shot of what they actually look like until let’s say 40 minutes into the film. You want to see these creatures that have destroyed civilization, and once you finally see them the result pays off.
What is even more entertaining about this movie is you don’t have to be a fan of horror to enjoy it; it’s the exceptional script, a bevy of fantastic actors including the entire cast, smart directing, and suspense that delivers every SINGLE time, with the ability to present this family at its most vulnerable, and its most simplistic everyday life actions that works. “A Quiet Place” is not a good movie, it is fantastic, and this is a movie you need to see for a bevy of reasons, many of them listed above, and trust me you will not be disappointed. It’s so good I plan to see it again in theaters, and I rarely EVER do that with any movie.