I…I honestly don’t know how to start this review. I have watched hundreds of horror movies by accomplished directors, indie start-ups, and even amateurs, yet nothing has managed to scare the seven shades of shit out of me more than A Quiet Place. This is just director John Krasinski’s third movie behind the camera, the other two being small indies that most of you probably haven’t even heard of. His inexperience in the directing chair had me wonder how he would pull off a horror, a genre so easy to screw up that 99% of the time the movies fail in the last act. Oh, dear gods how wrong I was. I can proudly say I have never been so stressed, terrified and troubled in a cinema than when watching A Quiet Place, and it was awesome!
A Quiet Place stars Krasinski too, alongside his famous wife Emily Blunt and damn they work well together, as they should. The movie takes place in 2020 and follows husband and wife Lee and Evelyn respectively. They are joined by their three children Marcus (Noah Jupe), Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Beau (Cade Woodward) which sounds like a happy family, right? Wrong.
Creatures have devastated the world leaving people to forage for supplies. In fact, the movie starts in a supermarket with our family gathering medicine and other supplies, all in utter silence. Sitting in near-full cinema with people inevitably means that there will be whispers and noise. However, after a few minutes suffering under the oppressive silence on screen, everyone was silent. The silence on screen is because the creatures hunt by sound and boy you do not want to be hunted.
Enough writing from me, as you can hear what I had to say further in the video below (Double warning: Some NSFW language in here and I do mention some story elements that some may find a little spoilery – it’s best to go into this knowing as little as possible – though I do let you know when that is).
Kervyn watched the movie with me (I promise we didn’t have to cling to each other in fear, no matter what witnesses claim), and here’s what he thought of it:
The first time we glimpse one of the sound-hunting monsters in A Quiet Place it is in a scene that is ferocious, breathless, fraught with emotion and immediately lets you know that it’s not messing around one bit. I guess you could say the same for what this does for John Krasinski’s filmmaking career as the erstwhile Office goof announces himself here in spectacular fashion as one of the best things to happen to the horror genre in years and one of the worst things to happen to your blood pressure.
Tapping into that primordial nightmare of needing to scream but not being able to, and bolstered by fantastic performances from the entire cast – but especially Emily Blunt – A Quiet Place does what so many horrors should innately do but often fail at: It terrifies you. And it’s a white-knuckled, spine-contorting, urine-involuntarily-leaving-your-body terror, utterly relentless as Krasinski continuously ratches up tension through the film’s diabolically genius mechanic of every sound being a potential heartstopper.
Whereas other horror films use overbearing scores and obvious musical cues to try and artificially ramp up scares, Krasinski strips all that out and handily scares you senseless. Even jump scares, usually cheap shock tactics, here feel not only justified but exponentially more effective.
And it’s not all scares though. There is real character and heart here – a robust familial core that makes you care about these characters… and thus quietly poop yourself even more as you fear for their lives. Krasinski also brilliantly respects his audience’s intelligence, showing not telling as he builds up this world. He never gives away all the answers though, leaving a fair bit of mystery, which all helps to accentuate the bristling tension throughout. In space, they may not be able to hear you scream, but in A Quiet Place, it’s infinitely more terrifying if you even make a peep.
Last Updated: April 6, 2018