Every year the movie landscape always delivers one unexpected surprise, a film that breaks through the cultural lexicon and transcends media. This year, that title belongs to John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place, a dystopian horror film that usurps most of the common horror tropes with a sea of silence.
Set in the future, the world’s population has been wiped out by savage creatures that rely on their sense of hearing to hunt down prey. Hence the “If they hear you they hunt you” tag line. That rings true from the get-go, when we are introduced to the horrifying creatures after one of Lee (John Krasinski) and Evelyn Abbott’s (Emily Blunt) children is snatched up by one of the creatures.
A year later, Evelyn is pregnant with a third child and the family is still trying to cope with their loss. This is paired with the fact that their eldest child, Regan, is deaf.
It is here that the movie hits its stride as we explore the intricacies of the family dynamic that is set to the backdrop of a dangerous world. This compounds the tension while letting it linger as the characters fail to properly communicate amid guilt and fear.
The tension is thoughtfully conveyed by powerful performances by Krasinski and Blunt, who anchor a strong script by Krasinski, Bryan Woods and Scott Beck. With little to no words, it is their facial movements and ticks that resonate the most as the silence becomes almost overwhelming.
It all culminates in a climactic scene where Evelyn goes into labor while the creatures raid their farm, all the while they’ve been separated from their two children.
All of this is weaved carefully by Krasinski, who helms his third major feature film. Starkly different from archetype horror flicks that rely on jump scares and loud scenes, A Quiet Place goes in a different direction that bypasses those tropes and instead utilizes silence as the main tension builder. And boy does it ever do that. Going from radio silence to hearing the faintest of noise has never been more frightening.
It was a refreshing take on the horror genre earning glowing reviews from both critics and viewers while going on to become one of the most unexpected hits at the box office.
- Release date: April 6, 2018
- Box office: $340 million
- Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%
- Director: John Krasinski
- Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt
- Buy: Amazon