A Quiet Place (2018) Review

A Quiet Place (2018) Director: John Krasinski

“Who are we if we can’t protect them?”

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It is several hundred days into an apocalyptic nightmare. Sightless aliens with the power of ultrasonic hearing have invaded earth and now roam the planet hunting down anything that makes even the slightest noise. Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) and his pregnant wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and their three children –an easily petrified boy named Marcus (Noah Jupe), a teenaged daughter who is deaf named Regan (Millicent Simmonds), and a young boy named Beau (Cade Woodward) who is tragically slaughtered by the aliens while playing with a battery-powered toy rocket ship one day. Still, the Abbott family persists in their remote farmhouse, presumably somewhere in upstate New York. The unfolding story of each character is told through the family dire struggle to remain silent –the film must truly show us, rather than tell us the story. To hide the daily sound of their lives, the Abbott family uses sign language, walks barefoot on sand, and displays colored lights to communicate signs of danger while scrounging for supplies from nearby abandoned stores.

A Quiet Place offers a heart-poundingly intense horror film, one wherein no place is safe. Even the smallest cough or sneeze will send vicious bloodthirsty creatures descending upon someone’s location within seconds. Doors cannot be closed for fear of noise. The one saving grace is the sound of running water which disguises sounds (so, why doesn’t the Abbott family simply live alongside a river?) At any rate, the harrowing crescendo for this film comes as Evelyn goes into labor while surrounded by monsters, and Lee must make a difficult decision to save his children. There are numerous callbacks to classic horror movies, in some cases there are nods to Tremors, and in others we can find allusions to The War of the Worlds or Signs.

One fascinating aspect of A Quiet Place is how little is actually explained. What caused this apocalyptic event? What do we know about the aliens? Few answers are given, but the movie is so much the better for it. It begins later in the timeline –we never witness the start of this civilization-ending apocalypse (i.e. there are no frantic people running through streets amidst confusing television broadcasts). The film ends on a cliffhanger and it tees the story up nicely for a sequel as Regan may have discovered the alien’s one weakness using her cochlear implant –static feedback which leaves an unbearable ringing in the alien’s ears.

Written by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods while in college, the script for A Quiet Place was pitched to John Krasinski who directed the film and starred alongside his wife, Emily Blunt. While it’s difficult for me to watch repeated scenes of children placed in vulnerable situations of severe mortal danger, A Quiet Place is a surprisingly haunting horror film that manages to add something new to the apocalyptic and science fiction genres.

1 thought on “A Quiet Place (2018) Review

  1. As a fan of Emily Blunt and of refreshingly new SF, I was easily drawn to this and found it most impressive out of all that the post-apocalyptic genre has given us in this century. Thank you for your review.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s