“A Quiet Place,” dir. John Krasinski
A family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threaten their survival. If they hear you, they hunt you.
The marketing campaign for “A Quiet Place” has been particularly strong, promising a tense horror thriller with a J.J. Abrams-esque mystery behind it. At this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival, audiences went nuts over the film. The buzz has continued to be high going into its opening weekend with critics hailing it as a new horror classic, naturally setting expectations unrealistically high.
John Krasinski not only stars alongside his real-life wife, Emily Blunt, but also co-wrote and directed the film after having done a couple of smaller projects. From a directing standpoint, there’s a solid sense of dread throughout this movie. Watching this family try their hardest to stay as quiet as possible or risk being attacked makes for some pretty tense moments early on. One pivotal scene at around the halfway point is particularly pulse-pounding.
The problem is that “A Quiet Place” suffers by feeling repetitive in nature. While the scares early on do deliver on the thrills that are promised, there are only so many times watching a quiet scene play out leading up to a jump scare can be effective. There aren’t nearly enough unique obstacles for the characters to face after the halfway point and the sense of danger feels lost. The characters also make some questionable decisions at points, a couple of which fundamentally break the story and make it even more difficult to feel sympathy for them. Worst of all, once the creatures are finally revealed to the audience, a ton of the suspense is gone.
All of the actors try their hardest with the material they’re working with. Blunt shines brightest as she’s given some of the more emotionally draining scenes in the movie, delivering in spades with every single one. Millicent Simmonds, a young deaf actress coming off of “Wonderstruck” from last year, is also really strong with probably the best developed character. Noah Jupe does a solid job, but he isn’t given nearly as much to do as everyone else. Krasinski is an undeniably good actor which makes it even more unfortunate that his character is probably the most disappointing in terms of development.
“A Quiet Place” has a great start, immediately immersing the audience into what was expected to be a terrifying horror rollercoaster. It’s upsetting that after a few rock solid scares, the film loses steam so quickly and never picks back up again, culminating in an ending that leaves much to be desired. If you’re looking for a terrific thrill ride about a group of people that must stay quiet to avoid certain doom, just watch “Don’t Breathe” instead.
Have you seen “A Quiet Place?” Did you like it more than I did? Are you excited to see what John Krasinski does next as a director? Leave a comment down below with your thoughts.
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