A Quiet Place is fueled by being an incredibly tense film and an absolute torture for any viewer who can’t stand suspense. For instance, this film might as well have just been titled A Suspenseful Place. From start to finish, John Krasinski’s (along with a few other screenwriters) terrifying direction and story created a frightening and daunting atmosphere for the viewer to practically live within during the film’s perfectly trimmed runtime.
Krasinski hasn’t been known for being a director or a writer for long, but neither was Jordan Peele and look where he is now. So, don’t dwell on the actor’s past and focus from here to the future. That’s mainly because A Quiet Place has some of the best set designs and built in atmosphere of any film ever produced - possibly up there with a masterpiece like the original Alien. Breathtaking suspense throughout the entire film makes A Quiet Place not only a brilliant thriller, but a great horror at the same time, with also a little bit of sci-fi mixed in. John Krasinski proved with his direction that he has a lot to give in the cinematic world, and A Quiet Place is hopefully just the beginning of a wave of new clever horror films.
The film begins in the middle of an apocalypse of sorts, as an alien species hunts the sounds of any life on the planet. The only way to survive is to not make any substantial sound in the quiet, and the Abbott family is the main focus. After a casualty in the family, the family mourns in quiet while a father attempts to teach his children the ways of surviving and getting nutrients to live.
Accompanied by a pregnant wife who must prepare for a quiet world with a baby full of unawakened tears and a daughter who blames herself for the death of a family member, along with fear of hatred from her father. As the family tries to survive, natural circumstances come along that try to pull them apart and lead the haunting creatures straight to them. The only issue with the script is a personal grievance with the final moments of the film as it causes the film to change tone completely - leaving the film open for interpretation. A Quiet Place isn’t wholly original, but its wonderful mixture of genres makes the film one of the best written thrillers in recent years.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
The entire cast here is exceptional, with everyone in this small cast literally having a breakout role in A Quiet Place. John Krasinski stars, directs, and writes in his best movie to date in all aspects. His movie/real life wife, Emily Blunt, shines as well. Blunt provides a performance that was surprising and full of internal pain, as well as external pain in one extreme instance of the film. Child actors are incredibly difficult to cast properly, except only in rare instances like the film Super 8, but luckily for the final cut of A Quiet Place, the child actors are pretty exceptional. Cade Woodward is a great child actor who has proven himself countless times recently. His big sister on screen, played by Millicent Simmonds, is just as fantastic as she embraces her deafness for the role and speaks as she normally does through the use of sign language. The Abbott family is troubled, but mainly because of the circumstances they are placed under, and the family’s struggles are portrayed through their facial reactions, along with their motivated signing to get the message clearly transcribed.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The sound design is what makes this movie so captivating. Without the direction of the sound design, A Quiet Place would not be such a brilliant work of art. John Krasinski’s use of appropriate sound design is essential for creating this apocalyptic world he imagined. Every possible sound may lead to death, so even the slightest sound is shocking and sudden, giving the audience a sense of fear of the creatures awaiting in the wilderness. The creatures’ growls and screams are scary, but more so by how the sounds exit their bodies. Sounds of sand, grain, water and a small child crying are all potential threats, echoing out over the sound of the wind. The use of the characters’ sign language interactions over voice becomes a new, clever way of directly telling a story to the audience.
The creature design is beyond horrifying, combining the Stranger Things' Demogorgon and a Dead Space Necromorph with a spine chilling twist. Without going too far, if the creature design was formed with CGI it was an incredible form of special effects, and if practical...just wow. The set design of the family’s farmhouse, the river, and the sand trails throughout the forest is all incredibly thought out, as they accurately reflect what would be believed to be an apocalyptic world that is embracing the need to be quiet. The design here is one of the best we’ve had since, once again, a film like the original Alien came along in 1979. It’s a film to see for the suspense of hearing a sound of any sort alone, stress over every step a character takes, and the snap actions they must perform.
John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place is a phenomenal horror/thriller that is emotionally captivating w/ every tense moment of the runtime. The great performances & astounding sound design manage to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat - gripping the armrests of the chair intensely - scared of every little noise and of what’s to come for the family in focus.