Weekly Review: A Quiet Place (2018)

In a future where the Earth has been overrun by creatures that hunt by sound, a family is forced to live in silence.

A Quiet Place is a horror film, directed by and starring John Krasinski (The Office). Starring alongside Krasinski is Emily Blunt (Sicario), Millicent Simmonds (Wonderstruck), and Noah Jupe (Wonder). The script was written by John Krasinski, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck (based on a story by Woods and Beck). It features music by Marco Beltrami.

From the moment I first saw a trailer for A Quiet Place, I was incredibly interested. The more I found out about the concept and everything that was going into the film, the more interested I got. By the time this film was released, my expectations were exceedingly high. This typically doesn’t bode well for my viewing experience.

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Since I was expecting so much, I was disappointed by the overall effect that this film left me with. I heard so many things about how people in the theater were scared to make a noise, hesitant to breathe or eat/drink their concessions. I never felt that way. I was expecting the sound design to really push the envelope. I didn’t feel that it did that as much as it could have.

It definitely has its moments. Some of my favorite parts are when the viewer is forced into the world of the character Regan, who is congenitally deaf. In these moments, the sound drops to absolute zero. In these moments, there is nothing. This is the only time that I felt the feeling that I was expecting to feel throughout the majority of this film. I wish there was more of that.

Maybe all those people who said they were too scared to take a sip of soda weren’t being literal. Maybe they were referring to the world building that A Quiet Place possesses. In that case, I could maybe see it. All of the actors in this film are very believable in their roles. That’s important for films like this.

Since the majority of the film relies on dialogue spoken through American Sign Language, it was important that the chemistry and emotion was right between all of the characters. In that regard, I thought it was very well done. The real life marriage between John Krasinski and Emily Blunt reflected well through this story.

I really enjoyed the monsters in this film. There are definitely some questionable aspects about them, but I thought they were a force to be reckoned with. They were truly terrifying, both when they were on screen and when their presence was implied. I thought there were certainly times when the creatures didn’t seem to abide by their own rules, but it didn’t disconnect me.

With that being said, I thought the plot of this film was very predictable. Other than the quiet nature of the film, I didn’t think the story itself was really that groundbreaking. I honestly left the theater a bit bitter about how it ended. Why is this film being lauded as “smart horror” left and right when it took the same angle that other films have been labeled “hokey” for?

Other than being predictable, the plot definitely seems to meander along. There isn’t too much of an end goal in sight for most of the film. It’s all about surviving day to day. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I didn’t think it did the film any favors either.

A Quiet Place has heavy themes about family. It asks questions about what it means to be a parent. What would you do to protect your family? This is what gives the film the warmth that critics are raving about so much. There are some discussion worthy topics in this regard as well.

Despite my disappointments, I did enjoy A Quiet Place for what it was. The cinematography is fantastic. The sound design is decently captivating for what it sets out to do. It’s a good time. I do recommend it. Just don’t go into it with the same sky high expectations that I did.

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