Out this week is A Quiet Place. Starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt with direction and a script by Krasinski himself about a family that has to survive an apocalypse. This is all the more terrifying as they are being hunted by creatures that have devastated America.
When A Quiet Place opens up the audience is treated to yet another post-apocalyptic world and when I saw that I was worried. With the inundation of the apocalyptic landscape on television, novels, and film I was worried this was yet another one of those. Thankfully though it’s so much more.
The world that the Abbot family exist in is a terrifying one. They have to be aware of every minute movement, every stubbed toe, possibly even a loud fart. The reason is that the monsters in this particular horrific tale hunt by sound. They’re indestructible, move terrifyingly fast and have no weakness save for the fact that they hunt by sound and have no other senses. This means to survive the family has taken every precaution to ensure they make as little sound as possible. There are complications in the way, unfortunately. The eldest of the children Regan (played by a fantastic Millicent Simmonds) is deaf meaning she can’t hear any of the sounds she may cause. Thankfully though she’s a smart kid with a good head on her shoulders. There’s also their second eldest who is being trained by the father to eventually take over should anything happen. The training isn’t going well as young Marcus (Noah Jupe) fears the creatures far too much to be active.
What A Quiet Place conveys so well is the sense of urgency. The audience like the Abbotts always worries when the next attack is coming. This is all down to the presentation of the creatures (which are never named). They are barely seen until the third act and when the reveal comes the design is quite imaginative.
The sound design of the film is also quite imaginative. This is due to the characters being unable to speak so they talk via sign language which offers a unique challenge when trying to convey the story to the audience. And this is where Krasinski really comes into his own with the use of almost non-existent dialogue yet wonderfully emotive performances. His decision to allow the scenes to play out with simple gestures between the cast is heartwrenching and brings further emotional weight to the change that has happened to their world. A Quiet Place also has a modest budget and the team make great use of it with their minimal use of CGI (once again we see the creatures rarely) and it’s another impressive element of the film teasing the audience with this demonic unseen force.
What was so impressive to me is how A Quiet Place did so much with so little, minimal writing, a minimal budget but the result is something major. This is thanks to the actors, the originality of the idea, and the innovative technical elements. Krasinski has crafted through his intimate cast, his writing, and his direction is something brilliant, brimming with tension and emotion and will surely be remembered as a game changer for years to come.