A Quiet Place has tiptoed its way to my favorite horror thriller of this year. In the movies post apocalyptic world, silence isn’t so much golden as it is survival. In the film, John Krasinski alongside wife Emily Blunt have to protect themselves and their children from noise hunting extraterrestrials. Krasinski has successfully created an insanely tense yet tender experience with his directorial debut.
Claiming that A Quiet Place is the ultimate jump scare movie is not an exaggeration. Normally jump scares carry a negative stigma as they can be a lazy way of getting a reaction out of the audience. This film, however, does it right thanks in large part to a very effective use of sound, which is a funny notion considering silence is key. Scenes use noise or sound to amplify and drive home the fear of each character at the anticipation that at any moment the monster will show up. The use of sound, and lack of it, has taken the common horror trope of jump scares and made them relevant. Beyond that, this movie is one of the most tense ever experienced.
Emotions ran high both in part to the terror of what was to come, but also due to the relationship of this family. The casting was perfect. Having Emily Blunt, who is Krasinski’s wife in the real world, play his wife in the film was a wise choice. She steals the show and delivers an exceptional performance. Due to there being little to no dialogue, any emotions conveyed are via a look and expressed in her face. It was obvious how much this husband and wife cared for one another, and I highly doubt that emotion could have been conveyed as it did had someone else been casted. You sympathize with their children, who by the way could definitely pass off as Emily and John’s actual children, that are forced to live in a world of fear. As an audience member, it was easy to feel the love they felt for one another, or the fear they shared, and can comprehend the feeling of doing anything and everything to protect the ones you love. You held your breath along with them and tried to minimize any sound you made. As I was watching I found myself chewing softer until I completely ignored the snacks I had ordered as to not make a sound; I was completely invested.
In addition to a great use of sound, acting and casting, the monster design is excellent. They kept it simple, and therefore made the creepiness of the creature more powerful. It was the right combination of eerie and dangerous that makes you dread having it appear on screen again. Initially the monster design was completely different. It was deep into post production when Krasinski decided to completely scrap his initial design. ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) worked closely with Krasinski to get a new design drawn up despite the time crunch. Luckily for us all, Krasinski made the right decision in doing so.
A Quiet Place isn’t without its flaws. There are a few questionable and possibly cheesy choices made, but not enough to keep you from checking it out. I won't go into detail here as to avoid any spoilers, but they are few. Krasinski, on his first run, has been able to create an innovative and entertaining experience. I highly recommend giving this a watch, and make sure to do so in the theater.Being spooked together then sighing and giggling in relief together makes it all the more special. It’s as if everyone is reacting to the same scene that you are in the same way and the energy you’ll get from the rest of the audience makes it so much better.