Review: “A Quiet Place” Brings Reverence to Theaters
“A family must live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.”
At the movies, silence is rare.
Soundtracks, battle sequences, and dramatic arguments always mix with the enjoyment of tasty treats from the concession stand. Sometimes a loser forgets to turn his phone on silent, so the audible “clicks” of a text message are irritating. And then there’s the moviegoers who, innocently, can’t help themselves from asking questions aloud during a pivotal moment.
There’s always something tickling your auditory cortex at the movies, but John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” brings reverence to the movie-going experience. The movie is so quiet at times that the simple nibbling of a piece of lettuce is audible. And like the characters, you do not want to be heard as an audience member. Not only will the silence magnify any embarrassing movement, crunching, or ripping, but your slightest movement may attract the vicious, horrifying creatures terrorizing the characters. Or so that’s how you’ll feel because the film’s silence generates a sense of immersion that’ll be tough to beat for years to come
Add that to the wonderful acting and a stellar directing job by John Krasinski, “A Quiet Place” is a very unique and ingenious experience. However, that doesn’t mean it’s flawless.
CINEMATICS (CINEMATOGRAPHY, ACTING, PLOT, ETC.) – 4
While the premise is similar to “Tremors” (in a way), the whole experience is a breath of fresh air. After the shocking opening sequence, the audience is well aware of the new/different thrill ride awaiting them. And it all starts with the acting and the setting.
The “silent” premise presents a tough task for the actors. Conveying raw emotions while also advancing the plot in almost complete silence is more difficult than it looks. And this cast does a stellar job. With Krasinski and Emily Blunt being real-life husband and wife, their chemistry and love fully bloom during the first few minutes. And it transitions seamlessly into their relationships with their on-screen children, Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds, who both have rocking performances of their own. However, great performances cannot hide the faint character development. There are several opportunities and seeds planted for growth, but none of them are expanded upon. The characters get lost in the external silence and forget about a satisfying internal journey. Wonderful cinematography and great acting can’t hide how the characters are almost exactly the same when the credits roll.
And while the cinematography and acting do validate John Krasinski as a director and further endorse Charlotte Bruus Christensen as a cinematographer (her work on “The Hunt” is amazing), their work also can’t help the several illogical factors plaguing the plot. Without giving any spoilers, the film doesn’t take care to fully explain how several elements of this fictional world actually work. In a sense, the movie simply allows things to happen because “that’s the way it is.” So by the end of it all, while the whole experience is incredible, there’s an aura of dissatisfaction hanging over the audience.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE – 3.5
And that’s where my entertainment decreased. “A Quiet Place” redefines several troupes of the genre and the jump-scare — because it’s very hard to predict when something is going to occur in silence. It also forces the audience to be more conscious of how much noise they actually make during a movie. But the unreasoned elements of the plot, the creatures, and the mother’s pregnancy take a fresh horror story and make it… nonsensical. Which is odd because honest thought and sharp choices went into this project. Yet, it’s as if the 90-minute runtime wasn’t enough.
If more time were dedicated to explaining the important elements/history of the world, then maybe they wouldn’t be so forgettable. The interesting premise (a family forced to live in silence), acting/chemistry between the characters, and invigorating silent-suspense keep this film entertaining. But the unanswered questions drag it down from a classic to a great movie.
REWATCHABILITY – 3
At the end of the day, “A Quiet Place” is a wonderful experience for horror fanatics and cowards.
- Entertainment Value
The cinematography and acting do validate John Krasinski as a director and further endorse Charlotte Bruus Christensen as a cinematographer, but their work can't help the several illogical factors plaguing the plot. It’s as if the 90-minute runtime wasn’t enough. If more time were dedicated to explaining the important elements/history of the world and creatures, then maybe they wouldn’t be so forgettable. The interesting premise (a family forced to live in silence), acting/chemistry between the characters, and invigorating silent-suspense keep this film entertaining. But the unanswered questions drag it down from a classic to a great movie. However, at the end of the day, “A Quiet Place” is a wonderful, ingenious experience for horror fanatics and cowards.
I have to admit the ending got me a little teary-eyed. I was also lucky in that I happened to see this in a theater all by myself. I really liked it and I agree some logical issues held it back for me just a bit but my main issue was that I just didn’t find it terribly scary. Also I think Emily Blunt’s character needs to be added to the list of Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor for badass ladies of cinema. Just based on what she does and has done to her all without making any noise. You… Read more »
It’s definitely a must-see, but I didn’t have an emotional connection like that in the end. Had a hard time connecting with the characters. Though, I do agree with you about Emily Blunt. She rocked this one.