Director: John Krasinski
Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe
Words – Nathan Scatcherd
A Quiet Place is an interesting film to watch at the cinema, specifically.
At the screening I attended, the place was almost full, and as a steady stream of people came in I noticed a lot of popcorn, becoming a little concerned that the film – which features hardly any dialogue, as it characters mostly communicate in sign language – would be ruined by rustling and crunching. Amazingly, and amusingly, most of the popcorn in the room seemed to remain uneaten instead, as people clearly got into the movie and didn’t want to disrupt its wordless stretches (although unfortunately, as seems to be par for the course at the cinema these days, people still kept dicking around with their phones throughout).
Fittingly enough, A Quiet Place is definitely best viewed in, well, a quiet place; it’s a tense, solidly put together monster movie which doesn’t shy away from its B-movie conceit, of blind monsters who hunt based on sound and can pick up on even the tiniest noise, leading our family of survivalists (Krasinski and Blunt as the parents; Simmonds as their deaf daughter – hence their fortunate prior knowledge of sign language – and Jupe as their young son) to lead a life of absolute minimal sound.
The film does a lot with its concept, cleverly making use of long stretches of silence to set up the occasional jolt and imbuing its characters with real affection for one another despite (or due to) not being able to verbalise much, for fear of the slightest noise bringing the creatures to their home.
This tenderness is possibly due in part to John Krasinski and Emily Blunt being married in real life; they look at each other and worry about each other in a way which carries an obvious genuineness, and Millicent Simmonds (who is actually deaf and no doubt helped a great deal to make sure the sign language was perfect on set) is affecting as the daughter who appears to carry some survivor’s guilt, and is desperate to prove herself.
It’s a shame the monsters aren’t more interestingly designed; they seem far more threatening and scary when we don’t actually see them clearly, and when we do they’re somewhat underwhelming, looking like a cross between a praying mantis and a Xenomorph. Still, it’s a fairly nitpick-y complaint, and overall A Quiet Place is a smart, anxious creature feature anchored by a premise it makes inventive use of.
To read more words from Nathan, you can find this and other articles over on –