Released: 5th April 2018
Directed By: John Krasinski
Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe, Millicent Simmonds
Reviewed By: Darryl Griffiths
‘Who are we, if we can’t protect them?’
In such treacherous times. Where the swift brutality from authority figures tends to dominate many a morally barren landscape. Parents likely agonise over what words of wisdom they can provide to their inquisitive children, in order to broaden their minds, preparing them for the wider world.
On the surface, subtly offering a terrifying modern vision as it stifles the voices of its everyman characters, with the visual allegory of gangly monsters being the oppressors. Yet at the heart of ‘A Quiet Place’s simple but smart narrative structure, is an unshakable familial bond that serves to amplify the genre thrills of this utterly compelling creature feature.
Inseparable on-screen as they are off, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt play Lee and Evelyn Abbott. Lee reeking of desperation, merely plotting to try and get his loved ones through the day. Evelyn tasked with looking to the future, as she prepares to give birth to their third child.
Only able to communicate their feelings and emotions through sign language with their deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and darling son Marcus (Noah Jupe), their best shot at survival is living in silence, with an otherworldly threat ready to pounce at the slightest sound. You thought a trip to the supermarket was traumatic before this? Just you wait…
When so many of its genre counterparts opt to increase the decibel levels through its digetic sound and piercing scores with diminishing effect. ‘A Quiet Place’ is a superior reminder that less can be so much more, with director/star John Krasinski ratcheting up the tension masterfully with every inventive set-piece, complimented by sublime sound design.
In silence, the fear-filled eyes and muffled cries of its protagonists are captured in unsettling close-up, conveying the dread in nerve-shredding fashion. Yet the sparse use of sound through Marco Beltrami’s impressive score and the fleeting scenes with dialogue, almost create an occasionally enchanting air to proceedings, perhaps reminding us how precious human interaction truly is. It’s certainly reinforced here, skillfully calculating the risk of its hazardous situations with refreshingly fierce intelligence, whilst Krasinski lays a trail for his audience that prevents any lazy cop-outs creeping into the film’s resolutions.
What truly sets ‘A Quiet Place’ apart, is how emotionally involving it proves to be, with outstanding performances across the board. Reeling from an event that deserves to remain a secret for maximum impact, Emily Blunt and John Krasinski impeccably convey the fragility and weariness that has seeped into their character’s souls, through fending off such sleekly designed monsters that wouldn’t look out of place in a Cloverfield instalment. Strong support lies in the form of Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe, both terrific in creating conflict as they question the seemingly tactful nature of their parents.
Superbly shot. Pitch-perfect scares. It may revel in a muted premise. But John Krasinski’s ‘A Quiet Place’ is a film i’ll be shouting about for the rest of 2018.
A sensational survival horror for the ages.