A Quiet Place takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in which the Earth is ravaged by monsters who are super-sensitive to any sounds, which causes humans to live in complete silence and inspires the title as well as the tagline: “If they hear you, they hunt you.”
Unbeknownst to me, I ended up watching the “midnight” premiere of A Quiet Place, so of course the theater was packed. I went into without even seeing a trailer. I had only heard some buzz about the film, recognized the actors, and heard about it starring a deaf actress. So of course, I was intrigued. Going into a movie without any preconceived notions is an amazing feeling as it enhances the moviegoing experience. I recommend everyone to do it at least once.
A Quiet Place is not what you expect, at all. Surely, it’s a suspense-packed thriller with some great scares, but it’s not a typica, cliche horror film. It’s an extemely quiet film. Compared to the majority of horror films that rely on stings and dramatic ques to scare the audience, A Quiet Place is new type of suspense that does the complete opposite and uses silence for scares. I’ve noticed that during silenced parts of films, take the crash scene in The Last Jedi as an example, audiences tend to try and rustle, attempting to fill the silence. Yet during A Quiet Place, those engaged in the film were determined to keep silent.
Also! The film answers a lot of previously unanswered questions about post-apocalyptic worlds, showing what a well adjusted family would look like in a disheveled world. While setting up the world through a cold open, starting with day 89 and fast-forwarding far into the future. The film lays down the rules of what we and the characters know about the situation/monsters. In the first couple minutes, we know that the film will focus on a family whose daughter is deaf and to survive they have to remain silent because monsters inhabit their world. Having a deaf daughter is not just a character trait, but an explanation to why they are surviving so easily: they only communicate in sign language. Thus, majority of the film is read through subtitles.
The cold open really throws you right into the story, not wasting anytime on narrated exposition and letting the audience pick it up. Hands down, I would consider this to be the best part of the film. As it acknowledges that audiences aren’t stupid and can pick up on context. The film continues to lay clues throughout scenes for audiences to pick up on, allowing for a more interactive watch.
As a video game lover, I admitted to my friends that the entire film sort of felt like an opening scene that establishes the situation of the world before gameplay. While my friends agreed, they also pointed out that the movie felt like a short film, as it felt like there could be so much more. Which I guess would warrant a sequel.
Since majority of the film is read through subtitles and sign language, it doesn’t leave too much for the actors to say verbally. Yet, somehow all the performances are so powerful. My favorite being from the deaf daughter, Regan (Millicent Simmonds), who is played by an actual deaf actress. Other than her, John Krasinski as the father of the family shines. As writer, director, and talent of the film, Krasinski really know what he wants to bring from his performance to really solidify his scenes.
Not just about jump-scares and monsters, A Quiet Place is determined to tell more than just a scary story. Focused on a family, the film also revolves around their issues as a unit and a team. Presenting their minor issues and fears to be just as large and important as the monsters and dead world.
A Quiet Place seems to re-imagine what films can be, especially horror films. It draws audiences in by presenting itself as yet another jump-scare flick, when really it is truly an impressive film. When I went, the theater would not be packed if audiences knew they had to read subtitles the entire time. However, A Quiet Place is yet another example of great horror and suspense. I spent the entire film holding my breath, both because I was on the edge of my seat and because I was to afraid to make any noise. The silence really throws you into the environment, fully immersing you into the world. As a viewer, you don’t want to make any sound and attract the monsters.