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A Quiet Place Movie Review

A Quiet Place (2018) movie poster A Quiet Place

Theatrical Release: April 6, 2018 / Running Time: 95 Minutes / Rating: PG-13

Director: John Krasinski / Writers: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck (story & screenplay); John Krasinski (screenplay)

Cast: Emily Blunt (Evelyn Abbott), John Krasinski (Lee Abbott), Millicent Simmonds (Regan Abbott), Noah Jupe (Marcus Abbott), Cade Woodward (Beau Abbott), Leon Russom (Man in the Woods)

 

John Krasinski will indefinitely be known first and foremost as "Jim from 'The Office'", but he has kept busy with roles big and small since that NBC workplace comedy signed off in 2013.
Krasinski's most significant post-"Office" work thus far arrives in A Quiet Place, a film he directed, executive produced, co-wrote, and stars in.

A Quiet Place defies expectations. For one thing, it's a straight up horror film, something you wouldn't expect given Krasinski's on-camera résumé and his two previous feature directing credits, the little-seen dramedies Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and The Hollars. For another, it's a wide release major studio PG-13 horror film...that has earned unanimous acclaim from critics.

A post-apocalyptic thriller, Quiet is set a few years in the future, at a time when most of mankind has been wiped out by bloodthirsty alien creatures. Our attentions are fixed on the Abbotts, a family comprised of a father (Krasinski), a mother (his real life wife Emily Blunt), and three young children. No time is wasted to establish the film's original premise: these deadly visitors threatening humanity with extinction are attracted by sound. Staying quiet is your only shot at staying alive. The Abbotts communicate by sign language, something they are accustomed to since their daughter (Wonderstruck's Millicent Simmonds) was born deaf.

Emily Blunt stars as Evelyn, the matriarch of a family trying to stay alive in a post-apocalyptic near future where deadly alien creatures are attracted to sound.

The family also has a number of precautions in place, from stockpiles of aural diversions to a hidden chamber they can get even quieter in. Like most of civilization, the Abbotts have had horrific run-ins with the blind beasts, starting with the prologue that suggests all bets are off here. There isn't a more complicated plot to detail than this: the Abbotts try to stay alive by staying quiet, which isn't as easy as you might think, especially with another child on the way.

Quiet is a very pleasant surprise. Krasinski takes a story and script by young up and comers Bryan Woods and Scott Beck and with help from his wife, who supplies greater star power than such a small film usually can boast, turns it into a distinct, absorbing, and immersive thriller that will wind up among the year's best-reviewed films, especially among wide genre releases. There was nothing in The Hollars -- a sappy, miscalculated family indie that squandered talents like Richard Jenkins, Margo Martindale,
and Sharlto Copley -- to suggest that Krasinski was capable of following up with this, that rare horror movie that doesn't directly or indirectly imitate another successful horror film. You can draw comparisons to It Comes at Night, a similarly themed low-budget post-apocalyptic thriller that was well-reviewed but poorly-attended last summer. With a budget of $17 million, this one isn't quite as shoestring. The "It" of this film is not left to the imagination but shown quite clearly via modest yet passable visual effects (which will no doubt be targeted in the inevitable kneejerk online contrarianism).

The thrills are real and effective. Krasinski and company could have used the concept for a parade of jump scares, since most of the film poses opportunities for them. But rarely does this go for cheap and easy plays. Instead, it provides some surprisingly resonant emotion and character development, while also getting more mileage out of a stair nail than even Home Alone. A Quiet Place is a horror movie for people who don't like horror movies, though it should play just as well for those who do.

Related Reviews:
Directed by John Krasinski: The Hollars
Emily Blunt: The Girl on the Train • Sicario • Looper • Edge of Tomorrow • Into the Woods
Millicent Simmonds: Wonderstruck | John Krasinski: Away We Go • License to Wed • Detroit
It Comes at Night • 10 Cloverfield Lane • The Village • The Witch
Now in Theaters: Unsane • Ready Player One • A Wrinkle in Time • Isle of Dogs • Red Sparrow • Black Panther

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Reviewed April 6, 2018.



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