Monday, April 9, 2018

[Review] A Quiet Place

John Krasinski directs and stars in the vicious horror-thriller A Quiet Place, and what he's crafted here is an absolutely ruthless experience that thrives on stunning silence and alarming sounds.

Krasinski and Emily Blunt play a married couple occupying a farmhouse in the middle of a dystopian landscape with their kids. The family communicates through sign language, tip-toes around barefoot, and essentially gets by day-to-day with making as little noise as possible. The reason for this is initially kept fairly mysterious, but what we do know is that there's some sort of extraterrestrial presence out there that will -- Hunt. You. Down. -- if they hear you. Making things even more treacherous is the fact that Emily Blunt's character is in the late stages of pregnancy -- that's gonna make a sound!

This film will make your heart race, it'll make you sweat, it'll make you grip your seat, and it never really lets up. Without spoiling anything, some scenes are absolutely nerve-rattling, and just when you think you can take a breather -- something even crazier happens. And thankfully, the film never compromises when it comes to its quiet yet startling tactic of unsettling sound design. There are long stretches of dialogue-less silence, making the anticipation of a noise almost more jarring than the noise itself. It also features a commendably taut screenplay. It's so carefully measured -- every bit of foreshadowing comes back to haunt, every detail and beat is paid off, and it's just downright intense. The cast is tremendous all-around, too. Krasinski and Blunt are as solid and convincing as can be, and they really do a lot with a little. And I'd be remiss to not mention how great the kids (Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, and Cade Woodward) are here, especially as they take on a significant portion of the weighty plot.

A Quiet Place contains shades of Signs, It Comes At Night, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and even Jurassic Park -- so it's a worthy, high-concept genre flick through and through. But it's also a surprisingly human and heartfelt (and terrifying) story about raising a family under extreme and dangerous (and terrifying) circumstances.


* 8.5/10 *

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