[Review] A Quiet Place (2018)

‘A Quiet Place’ is the latest horror film to surprise the box office with a $50m opening weekend in the U.S, and it has now arrived in the UK. At the beginning of the film it states that it contains ‘sustained threat’, that is the perfect description of the continuous tension you feel throughout, which I loved.

The basic plot is survival. The film follows the Abbott family who are trying to defy the odds of being found and killed by ‘overly sensitive to noise’ creatures that have inhabited the earth. As survival goes, the Abbott family do pretty well under the guidance of the Dad, Lee Abbott (John Krasinski), who is dedicated to keeping his family safe. However, an added plot complication is that Mum, Evelyn (Emily Blunt), becomes pregnant… Bit of a spanner in the works when you are trying to keep the noise down. Needless to say the noise levels escalate as the film goes on.

What I loved about this film was that it got stuck in straight away. I have seen so many horror films that have a dull first half: setting the scene, character development, building tension etc. As soon as the film starts however, you are instantly transported to 2020, where the earth as we know it suddenly contains massive creatures that hunt and kill you if they hear you. No explanation on how and why this has happened, you just have to deal with it. This approach streamlined and simplified the plot brilliantly, meaning you are instantly focused on the Abbott family and their present day lives, their day-to-day survival.

An advantage the Abbott family had to their survival is that they presumably already knew sign language before the creatures rocked up on earth, this was due to their daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) being deaf. This detail actually held up the plot well (instead of it just being a convenient addition), particularly on how it linked in with the ending.

The Mum (Evelyn) being pregnant really added to the tension and the plot of this film. It highlighted what a distressing life they were leading. Getting pregnant and having a baby is a natural thing, we think of it that way in normal life, so realising all the problems the baby was going to cause the family really reinforced their stressful lifestyle. The unpredictability of babies (when they arrive, when they decide to wake up and cry) added another level of suspense in the film.

As you would expect, there were a lot of quiet scenes in the film meaning there wasn’t a lot of dialogue. Most communication was through sign language so the film is mostly subtitled. It is a film you need to concentrate on. All sounds were very understated which created more tension and suspense, they took advantage of this with quite a few jump scares. The contrast definitely had an impact! This was key to feeling immersed in the film and with the plot as you were experiencing what the characters experience, you don’t feel a distortion for audience purposes. It made you a part of what they were going through.

The director John Krasinski (who also plays the Dad, Lee Abbott as well) has only directed a couple of things before, and has not established himself within the horror genre, so I didn’t know what to expect from this film. However, I was pleasantly surprised, and I think this film is definitely worth a watch. It was still a bit generic, and in my opinion needed a bit more gore. I didn’t really know why the creatures were hunting and killing either, it wasn’t for food so you assume it is just to wipe out humanity. Something to confirm that either way would have been helpful.

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski were a convincing married couple (which is good considering they are married in real life) and played their parts brilliantly. The children Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) also played their parts really well. I liked that the Abbott family were the main characters, with no other complicated additions (apart from the baby).

Overall I enjoyed this film. It was unique in its approach, and one that I will remember. Score: 8/10

As an aside, I am going to have a rant. If a film is called ‘A Quiet Place’ then surely common sense would prevail and people would assume that the cinema should probably be a quiet place too, therefore not the film for popcorn… I can confirm now, it definitely isn’t the film for popcorn! If you read this and go to see the film DON’T BUY AND EAT POPCORN. I fully related to the creatures in the film and their sensitivity to noise, and wanting to hunt people down…

Rating indicators (out of 5! 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡)

Gore                🤡🤡

Suspense        🤡🤡🤡🤡

Hilarity           🤡

Engagement   🤡🤡🤡🤡

Obscurity  🤡

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