Review by Dominic Messier, Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Film Writer
As a simplistic yet effective sci-fi horror project helmed by, adapted by and starring The Office star John Krasinski and real-life wife Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place eagerly jumps into the fray using the less-is-more approach, using the premise of an alien invasion of Earth by a sound-sensitive predatory race, to turn a simple survival story into one of the most tense and captivating thrillers to grace the screen in years.
You must watch this film…only do so quietly, for survival’s sake.
Set on modern-day Earth following the unexpected arrival of a predatory alien race that hunts based on sound echolocation, the film follows the day-to-day survival tale of the Abbott family, as they make their way from town to town, barefoot and without a sound, so to avoid being chased and devoured by the hunting creatures.
Having settled on playing house at an abandoned Upstate New York farm, Lee Abbott (John Krasinski), his pregnant wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) , deaf daughter Regan (young deaf actress Millicent Simmonds) and young son Marcus (Noah Jupe) adapt to the silent, day-to-day tasks of hunting for fish, farming quietly and avoiding predators whenever they can.
As Evelyn dreads the impending task — bound to be noisy one — of bringing a newborn child into this dangerous new world, can her husband find a way to figure out the creatures’ weakness while protecting his family at all costs?
There’s an elegance to this film’s simplicity of execution that makes it work flawlessly. But limiting the number of scenes in which the deadly creatures are seen rather than heard or implied, allows the audience to fill in the gaps with their worst possible fears, giving actor director John Krasinski a chance to tap into our fight or flight response to full effect.
Each scene is perfectly orchestrated as a game of cat and mouse, with the modern setting of 21st Century New England bringing a sense of possibility and immediacy to the story. Krasinski and real-life wife Emily Blunt are obviously believable as the protective couple hoping to keep their brood alive through inventive (and oh so quiet) means, but the stand out star of the film is young actress Millicent Simmonds, a deaf actress whose life experience clearly informed the filmmaker in his decisions during the film.
Add to this a farm setting rigged for silent running (with painted, crack-free spots to walk on and a clever lighting system designed to alert incoming threats by color alone), and you find yourself with a suspenseful locale where death lurks at every corner.