Krasinski-directed ‘A Quiet Place’ is an unusual thriller

Categories:  The Arts    Opinions
Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 at 6:26 PM

A toy rocket. A silo. A rusty nail. A family doing their best to stay alive.

“A Quiet Place,” directed by John Krasinski of “The Office” fame, is a haunting, terrifying, thrilling masterpiece that will leave you craving more. 

Lee Abbott (Krasinski) and his family live in a post-apocalyptic world where an alien monster (think the Demogorgon from “Stranger Things” meets the Xenomorph from “Alien”) attacks you if you make any sound. As the monster is blind, it relies solely on sounds to guide it to its next prey. And when it gets you…it’s not pretty. 

The silence will make you incredibly nervous while watching the film, and you’ll find yourself panicking when another audience member coughs or grabs a handful of popcorn. The movie reels you in that way, making you think you’ll suffer the fate of the characters if your friend doesn’t stop loudly eating popcorn.

What makes this movie stand out from most other films in the 21st century is the lack of dialogue. Since the plot is centered around silence, the characters in the movie predominantly use sign language to communicate with each other. Ultimately, there is less than five minutes of spoken dialogue throughout the running time. 

Typically, a movie like this would be incredibly difficult to pull off, but talented actors Krasinski, Emily Blunt (Evelyn Abbott), Noah Jupe (Marcus Abbott) and Millicent Simmonds (Regan Abbott) are able to use the silence and their body language to build suspense and convey exactly what they’re thinking, feeling and saying at all times. 

Spoilers for the opening follow.

The film begins in a grocery store after a title card displays “Day 89.” Marcus is sick, and the family has stopped to get him some medicine before moving on to their next destination. Within those first 10 minutes, there is some horrific action that takes place, setting the tone for the remainder of the film.

About a year later, we see the family now living on a large farm, trying to survive. Blunt is pregnant, which immediately makes the viewer nervous because, well, babies are typically quite loud. Throughout the remainder of the film, the Abbott family works together to avoid the monsters and continue living their quiet lives, the best way they know how. 

While the movie was intense (particularly one scene involving a bathtub), the ending is incredibly emotional and takes a very unexpected turn. Basically, this movie had no right to make me cry — and yet, it did.

Additionally, the score greatly complements each scene in the movie, and Krasinski tactfully uses each sound, quiet or loud, to his advantage. 

The child actors in the film, Jupe and Simmonds, are incredibly talented and add a level of innocence. Simmonds, like her character, is deaf, which makes the film even more effective.

If you’re looking for a well-made thriller: here’s your movie. Krasinski has done an amazing job separating himself from dweeby Jim Halpert, creating a new persona of serious actor and director.

Dakota Palmer can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: film review

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