I’m one of those very annoying people who watches too many horror movies, the good and the bad of the genre, and this has given me a lot of opinions as to what makes a good or different horror movie. While the name might call for quiet, I haven’t been able to shut up about “A Quiet Place” since I saw it.
In “A Quiet Place,” the Abbott family tries to survive in a world where any noise attracts the deadly attention of monsters, who hunt by sound. A newspaper shown in one scene calls the monsters the “angels of death.” “A Quiet Place” follows the Abbott’s survival efforts over a year after the monsters first arrived, as they prepare for Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) to deliver a child.
Directed by “The Office” alum John Krasinski, who also plays father Lee Abbott, “A Quiet Place” is a great horror movie. Krasinski created a movie where the slightest noise might bring destruction, so every little sound registers. I found myself jumping whenever there was a loud noise, but the movie involved more suspense than simply jump scares.
Dialogue is largely conveyed through American Sign Language, which the Abbots know in-character because their eldest daughter, Regan (Millicent Simmonds), is deaf.
The ASL is paired with subtitles, which required actors to convey emotion without using their voices. This could have been terrible in a movie with a bad cast, especially because only the Abbots are significant, named characters.
Krasinski, Blunt, Simmonds and Noah Jupe all did a tremendous job. Simmonds, an actress who is actually deaf, stands out as a skilled child actress whose character develops tremendously without her ever speaking.
I felt myself really caring about the family in the movie, which is unusual for a horror movies. A lot of films in this genre shy away from anything involving emotion, but “A Quiet Place” doesn’t. Alongside the scares and the tension, the movie really works to develop its characters. It shows horror, but it also shows Blunt and Krasinski’s characters dancing with shared iPod headphones. Simmonds and Jupe playing a board game with felt-covered dice. The family’s interpersonal drama is incredibly believable because everyone is so carefully characterized, even though this drama could only happen in the world of “A Quiet Place.”
That’s not to say that this wasn’t horror. It definitely was. My spine crawled when a jump scare approached, and when I drove back from the theater, every sound made me twitch a little. It’s just a horror movie that cares deeply about its world-building and characters, which ultimately makes the film even stronger.
“A Quiet Place” is an inventive, creative horror movie that also manages to be scary and I really recommend it.