At a first glance, this may seem like the set up for a typical horror movie. With its fearful characters, scary creatures and tense atmosphere, “A Quiet Place” may seem like another cliched offering of the genre. However, surprisingly it isn’t. Director John Krasinski has crafted a smart, unexpectedly touching film that reinvigorates the genre. Although one can easily see inspirations for the film, as a whole it is thoroughly original. The film cleverly uses sound to create tension and suspense, which sets it apart from most horror films. Unlike other films in the genre, it relies on the use of sound or the lack thereof to create moments of suspense.
Perhaps, the most impressive aspect of the film is the direction. Although this is his first time making a horror movie, John Krasinski excels behind the camera. He uses a combination of techniques to create moments of suspense, such as the use of sound. Sound creates suspense by signalling to the viewer that the characters are in danger and about to be attacked by creatures. Its a simple technique but one that works really well. As a viewer, you are immediately drawn into the film’s setting and feel tense whenever you hear sound. Through this masterful use of sound, director John Krasinski stages the most frightening sequences of the year.
However, to simply call “A Quiet Place” a frightening film would be an understatement. Although the film has been marketed as a horror creature-feature, it is more than that. In fact, its not so much a horror film as it is a drama about a family struggling to survive. Instead of resorting to horror movie cliches, the script chooses to emphasize character development. The story focuses on two parents who simply want to protect their children from the outside world. Over the course of the film, we get to know the family and become emotionally invested in their lives.
Its mainly due to the fantastic performances from the cast, which bring the family dynamic to life. It is not easy to express emotions without dialogue, but the actors manage to pull this off seamlessly. Despite the lack of dialogue, the actors communicate a lot through a simple glance or facial expression.
John Krasinski delivers a powerful performance as a fearful father willing to do anything to protect his children. Known mostly for his comedic work, Krasinski shows that he can handle a dramatic role with ease. Its strange to see the comedic actor take on a dramatic role, but he handles it exceptionally well. With intense expressions and expressive body language, he communicates the father’s undying love for his children. Its an emotionally resonant performance from one of the finest actors working today.
Emily Blunt is unforgettable in the role of a grieving mother struggling to raise her children. Through haunting expressions, she conveys the mother’s grief, sadness and pain. Its a difficult role that puts the actress into uncomfortable situations, but she tackles it with grace and dignity. Through the course of her career, Blunt has been underappreciated as an actress. However, this performance may be the one that finally gets her the recognition she deserves.
It is also hard to not mention the child actors that are perfectly cast in their roles. Millicent Simmonds is absolutely mesmerizing as the deaf daughter of the family while Noah Jupe is charismatic as the brave son. Both these actors have a bright future ahead of them in the industry.
Despite the terrific performances from the cast, “A Quiet Place” is not a film without flaws. Although the film is thoroughly entertaining from start to finish, it suffers from a rushed ending. The ending leaves a lot to the viewer’s interpretation and lacks a satisfying resolution. As a result, it may leave some viewers frustrated rather than satisfied. Due to its ambiguous ending, the film may not please everyone.
Nevertheless, “A Quiet Place” is a thrilling horror film that is definitely worth watching on the big-screen. Fans of the horror genre will definitely enjoy it, and so will movie-goers seeking an unforgettable cinematic experience. It will be hard for audiences to keep quiet after watching a film that begs to be talked about and discussed in the years to come.