April 25, 2018
“A Quiet Place” is a John Krasinki directed horror/thriller/drama film. It stars Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe as the members of the Abbott family: Evelyn, Lee, Regan and Marcus, forced to survive in near isolation and in silence as they hide from mysterious creatures that hunt for sound.
This film is captivating. Through clever use of sound or lack of, visuals and standout performances by a cast with very little in the way of spoken dialogue to work with, the audience is taken in in such a way that the tension builds spectacularly.
John Krasinski excels in both his acting performance and in the director’s seat. Acting alongside his offscreen wife who plays his onscreen wife, the chemistry between Krasinski and Blunt is a central part of the film’s success. As parents whom endure to protect their children, both deliver the fear and the stress without excessive ear-piercing shrieks or shouts. Krasinski demonstrates the distress Lee faces as he struggles to protect his family and shows the cycling emotions he goes through with very little being said. The minutiae of physical expression is where this film excels.
This success is due in large part to Krasinki’s direction. The film takes the time to establish the rules of the world without sound and allows the audience to observe details, and the clues, though subtle and requiring some patience provides a suspense that makes a viewer truly question, and fear for the family they come to know.
Emily Blunt gives an understated, but powerful compliment to Krasinski’s patriarch in her character, Evelyn. Like Krasinski, Blunt truly allows Evelyn’s conflict to show physically. Her movement and facial expressions speak volumes, far more than any amount of dialogue. Her chemistry with her on and offscreen husband only intensifies her performance in those scenes where isolation truly is paramount.
The two child actors Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe were truly impressive as the Abbott siblings. They too express much in few, or in Simmonds’ case, no moments of spoken dialogue in a way that is well beyond their years. Rather than being cloying, their performances and sequences added a depth to this story that was a pleasant surprise. Simmonds as Reagan added a perspective to the film that gave it much of its heart underneath the scares. Her performance is the standout.
“A Quiet Place” is a cinematic experience not to be missed. While leaning more toward suspense than pure horror, the unique story and cinematic experience is worth the time for those, whether they are fans of horror or not, who are seeking something different and fresh in their entertainment.