Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds
Director: John Krasinski
Running Time: 90 mins
A Quiet Place is an American film about a family living in a post-apocalyptic world, forced to keep silent to stay alive.
This is a really impressive piece of work, taking a simple and unique yet very bold premise to craft an exceptionally suspenseful thriller that will have your eyes glued to the screen from start to finish. With a powerful and intense atmosphere of silence, A Quiet Place is at times a hypnotic watch, and even though it doesn’t always have the depth to really make a mark, its audacity and ingenuity in changing up the horror formula has to be seen to be believed.
Now, what impressed me most about this film was just how far it went with its premise of pure silence. While it’s not completely mute, thanks to the odd dialogue scene, foley and score, it’s quite amazing just how quiet the whole affair is, completely engrossing you into this world where the slightest sound could cost you your life, and leaving you on the edge of your seat desperately hoping that the characters don’t make any noise.
Above all, the film’s first scene is incredible, starting out with the most striking and bold silence possible, and immediately grabbing your attention as you try to understand why exactly they’re so desperately intent on staying silent. From then on, we get a bit more of a wider understanding of their situation, which is undoubtedly necessary to keep the story moving along, but the silence remains, something that completely hooked me right up to the finish.
Much like Christopher Nolan did by foregoing traditional character development with his stunning war film Dunkirk, A Quiet Place does away with orthodox dialogue, and instead puts all off the focus onto the deep, piercing tension. In that, not only every single sound, but every single movement a character makes feels like a life-or-death decision, something that makes for an exceptionally exciting and suspenseful watch right the way through.
And as well as being so exciting, there’s something very powerful and pleasing about the film’s extreme silence. As a horror-thriller, there are real thrills and threats, but I was amazed how the film’s pure silence managed to direct my focus so strongly throughout, leading me into an almost meditative state, and with that overbearing and deeply powerful atmosphere, I was utterly engrossed for every second.
If there’s one thing that you’ll remember about A Quiet Place, it will be the silence, something that director John Krasinski deserves enormous praise for, as it’s a bold and unique decision that comes off perfectly, executed in far better fashion than I could have ever imagined.
But as well as the silence, there’s still a lot more excitement that the film has to offer. While it follows a similar formula to many horror films, it does so with a stripped-down and simple story that’s very easy to understand and even easier to be utterly thrilled by.
I won’t say that A Quiet Place is the world’s most frightening film, but its tension is palpable throughout, and thanks to Krasinski’s directing, the film becomes an absolute sensation for all your senses, all the while leaving you hanging off the edge of your seat.
Simply put, if you like a good thriller, then A Quiet Place will definitely do the job, all the while bringing a unique and particularly striking vibe to proceedings.
However, while I was really impressed by this film in one respect, I have to say that it doesn’t quite impress on the same level when it comes to deeper storytelling. As an out-and-out thriller, good tension is absolute key, and this film hits that nail right on the head throughout. However, in comparison to other stripped-down, small-scale thrillers (10 Cloverfield Lane for example), A Quiet Place doesn’t quite develop enough character depth and intrigue to really grab you beyond its main thrills.
That’s generally not a big problem, but there are a few moments where the tension abates temporarily, and the silence trick isn’t quite as effective, so there’s not all that much else to be so excited about at those times, which can be a little frustrating.
Overall, however, A Quiet Place is a really impressive and massively exciting piece of work, complete with a bold and incredibly unique central premise that works absolutely perfectly, engrossing you to the point of pure hypnosis, and leaving you on the edge of your seat as its tension hits fever pitch throughout, which is why I’m giving itaa 7.9.