A Quiet Place

‘A Quiet Place’ Review: Silence Is Golden

'A Quiet Place'

Movie Rating:


The intense horror thriller ‘A Quiet Place’ features a premise I’m surprised hasn’t been brought to the screen before. It’s so simple, yet insanely fruitful for the genre. I’m sincerely grateful for little-known co-writers Brian Woods and Scott Beck for creating it and for star/director/co-writer John Krasinski for bring it to life.

Monsters have overtaken the world in this post-apocalyptic future. Not much of humanity still remains, but all those who’ve made it have been forced to adapt and acquire new skills in order to survive. Little is known about the fast and deadly creatures that now roam the Earth: they’re blind, fast and can hone in on the slightest sound’s location from far away. The nature of these monsters creates a looming threat that’s present in absolutely every single moment during the 90-minute film.

Krasinski and real-life wife Emily Blunt star as parents who have done pretty well for themselves after roughly a year and a half of this new reality. Never uttering a word, their family communicates through sign language. They carefully walk barefoot on paths of soft sand. They even have precautions in place for potentially precarious scenarios. Their preparations have paid off, but even best laid plans fall through. A few out-of-their-control instances throw them off balance and require fast thinking in order to survive and keep one another alive.

The less you know about ‘A Quiet Place’, the better. Hence the vague plot description and intentional omission of character dynamics. I went into the film practically blind and was able to relish in all of its tonal greatness. I recommend doing the same.

Paramount has a potential money-maker on its hands with this one – and I think the studio is completely aware of it. Made on a skimpy $17 million budget, once word-of-mouth spreads, the box office ought to quickly drive it to profitability and then some. Like ‘The Sixth Sense’, I foresee this being the type of scary movie that draws more than just the usual horror-loving moviegoers. It’s accessible to everyone.

If you’ll allow me to get personal for a moment, ‘A Quiet Place’ marks a new first for the Hickman family. My movie-loving oldest daughter (nearing the age of 11) has become curious about scary movies. She’s seen ‘Signs’, ‘The Village’ and couple other tame ones and claims to want to see more, even though she’s not 100% in love with them. Several friends screened ‘A Quiet Place’ before I had the chance to and let me know that the gore and violence are at a genre minimum (it’s PG-13) and that it’s entirely void of swearing and sex. At her persistent begging, I brought her with me to see it. As her first big-screen scary movie, she took it like a champ and walked out just as excited as I was. It was an awesome first that I won’t soon forget. Having the movie itself be as solid as it is was just a bonus.

Don’t wait to be on the receiving side of the word-of-mouth that’s bound to kick off this weekend. Get out there as soon as possible and become a generator of the buzz, a die-hard cheerleader for ‘A Quiet Place’. It’s a relentlessly intense and masterfully crafted thrill ride that I can’t wait to watch again.


  1. Ryan

    Can you answer this without spoilers? I kind of want to see the movie, but the basic premise seems really stupid (based on trailers). There is just NO WAY in hell you can be quiet. Kids cry, people drop things, you sneeze, you fart, you cough….and a million other unavoidable things.
    Is this addressed in any way? if not, I just don’t think it’ll be possible to enjoy the movie

  2. Tom Spall

    Looks interesting but check it out this weekend.

    BTW, what happened to Phil? He’s no longer write movie reviews for this site?

      • Oh, really? I thought he had just taken a well-needed vacation. Can you persuade him to write a farewell text or post? We’ve been with and stuck with him through great and tough movie critic times. We’ll miss him.

  3. Chris B

    With regards to Phil leaving, he posted a short statement on his Twitter a week or so ago explaining his decision that can be read here:


    With regards to all the sadness about Phil leaving, count me in as well. His reviews were always something to look forward to towards the end of the week (especially the ones of Nicholas Sparks adaptations, those things made me howl with laughter). Hopefully Phil knows how many fans he has around this place and pops up from time to time. Don’t be a stranger Phil! and thanks for all the laughs over the years, you’ll be missed.

    • I kept coming back to some Phil reviews; I’ve read his ‘Creed’ review at least 5 times of the past few years, because it was so well-written. I’ll never forget his ‘Jurassic World’ review, which included this (paraphrased) gem: ‘Hoskins is played by Vincent D’Onofrio, who must be up to no good, because he’s played by Vincent D’Onofrio. Great, great stuff.

  4. Phil

    Hey, hey. I’m not sure if it’s too late to reply to any of this, but still thought I’d jump in. First off, I want to thank everyone for all the nice things that they’ve said here and also just for reading my reviews over the past few years. It was very humbling to stumble across this thread and it honestly meant so much to me. I want everyone to know that I adored writing for High Def Digest and left on (I hope!) good terms with all involved. I’ve been a film critic for 10 years and absolutely love watching and reviewing movies.

    The problem is that wasn’t really the work part of the job. The work came from the constant grind of struggling to find enough gigs to survive and with print media dying, pretty much all of my jobs aside from High Def disappeared on me over the last two years. I can’t see a way of finding enough new outlets to replace what I lost. It’s no one’s fault. The industry is in a very rough patch right now and everyone is struggling. So I’m moving on to new things. I might take up film criticism again some day and I might not. I have no idea.

    Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@thatphilbrown) as I’m sure I’ll post plenty o’ thoughts about movies there. Otherwise, I want to express nothing but well wishes and gratitude to everyone who read my reviews here as well as absolutely everyone who works at High Def Digest (especially Josh, who is one of the best editors that I’ve ever worked with). I had a wonderful time being a part of this community and will always look back on my time here fondly. Take care everyone and as two wise time-travelers once said, “be excellent to each other.”

    • ‘We’re out of a job’. ‘Don’t you mean extinct?’

      The struggle for writers is real. Hats off to you, Phil! Thanks for all the good laughs we had, due to your articles. I’ll be sure to follow your Twitter exploits. See you in the past! You mean the future? Exactly!

    • Chaz Dumbaugh

      Always great to read your reviews here, been around for a number of years now and they were always well written, funny and thought out. Good luck in finding something that works for you, I can only imagine what its like out there 🙂

    • Timcharger

      Hi Phil,
      I was po-faced to learn of your departure.
      I was hoping by Episode 9, to either get you to retract your Last Jedi rating, or admit that I was wrong, and that the problems in Episode 8 got retconned to a satisfying conclusion. I would have owned up to you (so easy to make future claims aren’t likely to happen).
      Goodbye Phil. I’ll spill a little popcorn (they don’t take kindly to sneaking whiskey in) on the floor at my next movie for you.
      You gotta do video reviews; review films and video record yourself then upload. You do need to make silly exaggerated facial expressions, though. Work on a po-face face! What a callback, right?
      Take care Phil. Best of luck to you.

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