Comedians have routinely had a tough time shaking their labels as depthless clowns, but lately some are rejecting that type-cast in cinema and using their own material to change the minds of the public. Breaking away from his best known work as Jim in ‘The Office’, John Krasinski followed Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out‘ lead by taking the director’s role for the opposite end of the spectrum: Horror. His cleverly silent debut thriller ‘A Quiet Place’ has inexorable intensity, satisfying character development and bona fide heartbreak. Not since ‘Signs’ has there been such a fascinatingly atmospheric creature feature!
The film invests more in the human spirit and resourcefulness of a single family, rather than concentrating on the cryptic monsters – and that’s what sets this dystopian drama apart from others. Beginning 89 days into the invasion, the Abbott’s have already established an effective system at a remote farmhouse in the woods. From using leaves as plates to pouring salt on the leaf-scattered paths, there is no compromise when the slightest noise could lead to their instant death. Adding to the soundless theme of the picture, there is little dialogue spoken, and what really aids this household in the battle against noise is the unique advantage of the eldest daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) being deaf. This forces the family to communicate almost solely through sign language and whispers.
As the story progresses, there is an admirable emphasis on narrow escape above all gore – an ode and throwback to the simplicity and effectiveness of the likes of Hitchcock. Surrounded by cornfields and vast open territory, the disquieting feeling of alienation lingers. The sharp casting of Krasinski’s real-life wife Emily Blunt, who plays Evelyn, also adds to the indisputable electricity and authenticity of relationships in the picture. There’s a scene between the two so gut-wrenchingly powerful, the strongest of heart will find their tear ducts watering and lower jaws quivering.
‘A Quite Place‘ stands out amidst a genre of predictable tactics and torturous repulsion, because of the unique yet classic concept of mystery. The pacing is perfection and the emotional performances are thunderously charged. Never has a modern sci-fi noir been more satisfying! Every situation seems inescapable, and the impending day of reckoning is highly convincing. Effectively terrifying and original, audiences will struggle not to sweat from its all-consuming anxiety. ‘A Quiet Place‘ takes a tired concept of an end-of-the-world setting and gives us a freshly energizing experience. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!