'A Quiet Place'
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.