Even though just saying the title now gives me chills, I will not stay silent on how amazing A Quiet Place is. Actor-turned-director John Krasinski takes a film with an intriguing, minimalist premise and executes it with precision while directing a masterclass acting ensemble in the process. Unsettling at every single turn and gripping from the first frame to last, A Quiet Place seems destined to become a modern day horror classic.
A Quiet Place is set in a post-apocalyptic Earth that has been taken over by alien creatures who will hunt down anyone who makes sounds of any kind. The story follows the Abbott family who tries to survive by being as quiet as possible and communicating through sign language. However, as the family uses their isolated house as a form of sanctuary, they realize that despite being cut off from the rest of the world, they still aren’t safe from the creatures on the hunt.
The creatures alone are chilling because of how fierce they look, how fast they are, and how they can try to kill you as soon as they hear you. However, they aren’t the film’s only frightening aspect. The sounds of floors creaking and people whispering to try not to make a loud noise manage to be unsettling as well. Also, the idea of being in the middle of nowhere with nobody being able to hear you except the creatures creates a feeling of vulnerability.
However, while A Quiet Place succeeds as a minimalist horror film, the film manages to work as an intimate family drama as well and the actors do an amazing job with their naturalistic portrayals. As the parents, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt are terrific while also contradictory because of how they act as the yin to each other’s yang. As the father, Lee, Krasinski is a stern survivalist while Emily Blunt plays Evelyn, the more graceful and down-to-earth mother. But while Krasinski and Blunt are terrific as they always are, it is Millicent Simmonds whose star shines the brightest as Regan, the family’s deaf daughter. In fact, one of the film’s highlights is the dynamic between her and Krasinski. Even though Lee masks his guilt over an event that takes place early on that won’t be spoiled, his distance from Regan makes her feel guilty over what happened which causes slight tension between the two.
For a film that is about 93% free of verbal dialogue, Krasinski does an expert job at allowing the actors to demonstrate the personalities of their characters through the use of facial expressions as well as the way they communicate through sign language. Aside from masterful scares, another key component to a successful horror film is character development because if our main protagonists are on a perilous journey, we need to be sure that we want to be on this journey with them.
A gripping thriller with powerful drama and a sense of dread lurking around every corner, A Quiet Place is a masterful entry in the horror genre that may have you screaming loud in the theater. John Krasinski has proven himself as a capable actor but A Quiet Place shows that he is also a triple threat. He excels as an actor, a director, and a writer, and I am very anxious to see what projects he does going forward.