Who knew the goofy nice guy from NBC's The Office would end up co-writing and directing one of the best and original horror films to come out of recent years. John Krasinski stars in this film with his real-life wife Emily Blunt, as a married couple and their kids living in a world where sound is their greatest enemy. Luckily, since their eldest daughter is deaf they've learned to use sign language to communicate, which gives them a bit of an edge in this new way to live.
It's established right from the start that once you make some sort of sound it will attract these deadly and incredibly agile creatures and once they hone in on you it's pretty much over. A certain event occurs early in the movie that essentially sets the tone and seriousness of their predicament. Still, they've managed to press on and live, despite the odds, not just because they know sign language, but also thanks to their willingness to survive as a family. Each member has their part to play, specifically the father (Krasinski), whom grooms his children in various ways in order to endure their new way of life.
Little is actually explained about these creatures, especially since there's barely even any spoken dialogue in the movie to begin with. Much of what we learn are from the headlines of newspaper clippings that appear during certain scenes of the movie. That's one of two things I really like about this film, and also what many horror features tend to get wrong: too much exposition. I'd rather learn bits and pieces as we go on instead of having someone fully explain everything to me and luckily the clippings and a marker board with writing on it are all we get here and I'm perfectly fine with that.
The second thing that I liked is the fact that these creatures are shown very little early on, but are gradually revealed as the film progresses. By the end we see just enough to get an idea on what they look like, but since the scenes are dark and these creatures are as well, we aren't shown TOO much, which would've likely ruined things, because seeing too much of the creature is a major issue that often occurs in these features. We don't need to see everything, because chances are it's either going to look too silly or too fake.
Next to all that, the performances are well done, especially from the eldest daughter (who is deaf in real life). Since there's very little spoken, aside from the sign language, a lot of what they communicate with each other is done so by emoting and actions, which can be difficult if you don't have the right actors, but there's clearly a lot of talent behind and in front of the camera here. The pacing is also pretty solid and the tension seriously never lets up since there's rarely a moment where these people can relax. Everything they do must be done quietly, even walking has to be done barefoot and on sand.
Aside from being a little predictable and the somewhat abrupt ending, there are some minor frustrating aspects we encounter here and there as a viewer, but I didn't really have any major issues with the movie overall. Hopefully Hollywood will learn from this film's box office success and realize that us genre fans are tired of seeing the same old stuff and are hungry for some new and original ideas for a change. Though, considering Hollywood's track record..
A Quiet Place succeeds where a lot of creature features tend to fail and delivers an interesting and fairly original storyline, along with some cool creatures that aren't over shown to the point where they look cheap or too silly. Next to that are some great performances by the leads, solid pacing, and tension that doesn't let up until the credits roll. Definitely worth checking out if you haven't seen this yet.