If you see A Quiet Place in a theater, about two minutes in you’ll be cringing at the sounds of people chewing popcorn—and a few minutes later, you’ll be too terrified to notice. The movie is almost completely silent: it follows a family trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world full of blind monsters with super-hearing. The monsters can’t see you, but if they hear you, they’ll kill you—immediately.
As we see in an early scene in which a child gets killed after playing with a noisy toy airplane. Talk about setting the stakes.
The child's surviving family—Lee (John Krasinski, also the director), Evelyn (Emily Blunt), pre-teen Regan (Millicent Simmonds), and child Marcus (Noah Jupe)—go to extreme measures to be as silent as possible. They walk barefoot on paths of sand; they eat with their hands off plates of lettuce; they play board games using puffballs rather than metal pieces; and they communicate primarily in sign language—Regan, like the actress who plays her, is deaf. Evelyn is pregnant, with a due date drawing ever closer, and the family is trying to figure out how to survive the birth: labor is painful, and newborn babies cry.
There are a few scenes of spoken dialogue—which take place near a running river that, for the monsters but not the audience, drowns out the sound of voices—but the majority of the film is nearly silent, with a subtle score and with subtitled sign language as the primary means of communication. This means that the experience of watching the movie is extremely tense—any loud footstep, any accidentally knocked-over object could mean almost-instant death for the characters. There are a few plot holes, and the spoken dialogue isn't strong. But overall, A Quiet Place is a horror movie with an incredibly creative and incredibly scary premise—one definitely worth watching. 4/5
top photo: A Quiet Place
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