A Quiet Place
“A Quiet Place” is a story about a family living in silence to protect themselves from monsters that hunt by sound. The movie stars and is directed by John Krasinski. That’s right, Jim from “The Office” directed and starred in a horror movie. Let that sink in for a second…
There is a multi-layered sense of cleverness in this movie. How do you make a thriller in 2018 where 98% of your movie is silent? With Krasinski’s direction along with the super clever screenplay by Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, and, oh yeah, John Krasinski (according to IMDB,) that’s how.
The movie starts right in the silence, and ambiguously stated simply as “Day 89.” There is no real explanation or back-story about how or why the monsters arrived there, why they won’t leave, and what (if anything) anyone has done to try to get rid of them. You’re just thrown right into the thick of survival with this family.
Part of the reason why this family has been able to adapt to a life of silence better than the other few survivors we see is because one of the children is completely deaf and communicates in ASL. It’s clearly established early on through visual storytelling and ASL communicated within the family that sound has deadly consequences.
The characters in “A Quiet Place” were predominantly simple to follow in their motivations and easy to root and worry for. There isn’t much character development in this movie and there isn’t any particular actor that “steals” any scene, but what makes up for it is the marvel you feel as seeing how this family has been able to live and survive the way that they do despite the tragedies that befall them. They paint squeaky floorboards in different colors so they know which ones to avoid and use different colored patio lights strung around their yard to communicate safety or danger.
There’s also something to be said about experiencing this movie in a crowded theater. Because it is a silent film, and because of the white-knuckle grip it has on you the whole time, you want to stay silent also. You feel as an audience member that if you make a sound, you jeopardize that family’s safety. And that was an amazing thing to realize and experience in real time.
I want to go back and see “A Quiet Place” again because I know that there are story details that I missed and I would like once again to awe at the fact that Jim from “The Office” made an amazing and thrilling movie. But it’s more than that. “A Quiet Place” is the best thriller I’ve seen since “The Sixth Sense.”