A Quiet Place is deftly written, masterfully staged, and a beautifully shot film which oozes with intensity while leaving audiences exhausted from the ordeal.
Classifying which genre Director/Actor John Krasinski’s latest project would fall under appears to be much easier than it is. A Quiet Place is one of those few releases that manages to transcend traditional genres. Sure, the film has elements of post-apocalyptic madness as the family manages to evade a rarely seen monster. There are individual dramatic elements as the characters always are having to come to terms with either death or their mortality. Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, and Krasinski have masterfully woven these elements together to create one of the very best movies of 2018.
The narrative gets off to quite a jarring start which immediately grabs the audience and causes everyone to be invested in this family’s survival. Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) and Lee Abbott (Krasinski) are trudging through the woods trying to survive in this new world where making the slightest sound will result in certain death. Knowing this, the world is adjusting to life with no sound. The Abbott’s communicate by using sign language with their children (Noah played by Marcuse Jupe and Regan who is portrayed by Millicent Simmonds). However, with Evelyn having another baby and life’s little mishaps like breaking a glass, their lives are joyless as they continuously live in fear.
Krasinski makes ample use of every element at his disposal to ramp up the intensity of A Quiet Place. Silence plays a significant factor in enhancing the post-apocalyptic and dramatic aspects of the film. As the creatures are milling around the Abbott’s farm, Evelyn is forced to deal with the pain of having a nail in her foot while the monster is just two feet behind her. Silence has an impact on the family dynamics also. While Lee’s wife and son understand why there is the need to be quiet at all times, his daughter thinks it means she is unloved.
Cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen made use of the reduced lighting and intricate set pieces to deliver fantastic shots. One of the highlights had to be the scene where Evelyn is downstairs with the newborn baby in the near dark (only a red light is on) while water is filling the room. The mixture of the creature’s rattle, the look of sheer terror on Blunt’s face, the glow from the red light, and the water trickling in will cause audience’s hearts to race. Krasinski staged this film exceptionally well. The sequences in the cornfield were terrifying. Marco Beltrami’s score evoked feelings of serenity and heartache.
While Krasinski, Jupe, and Simmonds were equally excellent in the film, it was Blunt who gave the best performance. The actress was able to convey such pain and sheer terror as they trudged through this hellish landscape. She had a deep understanding that Evelyn is the emotional backbone of A Quiet Place. With one glance, she can convey such love to her daughter Regan while showing such intensity as her character holds a shotgun directly at the aliens head. Blunt’s performance was astonishing.
A Quiet Place is the type of film which demands to be seen in theaters. Rarely has a release combined so many elements resulting in a gut-wrenching yet captivating final product. See it this weekend but be prepared to be messed up afterward.