by Stephen Shea
Recently, actors most famous for television comedy roles have directed surprisingly great horror movies as their relative directing debut. Jordan Peele was the breakout director of last year and this year it’s John Krasinski. A Quiet Place is breathtaking and one of the most intense moviegoing experiences I’ve ever had.
Without saying much about the plot of the film, the general story is about a family that contends with creatures that will attack if they hear any sound. This family has learned to live in this world but now, the mother is pregnant and they need to prepare for the birth of the new child. The story isn’t twisty necessarily but it is one where you don’t want many spoilers just because of its organic nature. The performances here are really terrific, especially from Emily Blunt who is truly a powerhouse.. The children in this film are also pretty good. Millicent Simmons, the star of last years Wonderstruck, is actually deaf so she is able to bring a realistic portrayal of her character.
I think the true star of this movie is the sound design. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film that has relied on sound design this much. It is for sure a contender at the Oscars next year in the sound categories. The film also has great cinematography. The use of color with the string of red lights is particularly stunning.
If there are any negative aspects of the movie it’s that there is a plot hole in where they live. There is a location introduced that masks their sound better that begs the question why not live there instead? Or why not live in a part of the house that you soundproofed? Also Simmons’ character is a little too angsty and has some flawed logic in her angst that bugged me a bit.
All in all, this film is a terrific exercise in tension and sound design and is signifying a turning point in John Krasinski’s career.
4.5 out of 5 stars