A Quiet Place
The film market has grown continuously throughout the years; with new markets growing outside of the west (China, the Middle East, South America) this trend doesn’t seem like it’s going to change very soon, but in the west there has been a decreased attendance. Streaming and the golden age of TV have given many viewers the chance to watch quality content at home; there’s almost no incentive to go to the theater and pay for overpriced snacks anymore. There are exceptions however, and the horror genre in particular is proving to be a lifeline for the western markets; one cannot replicate the communal experience of sharing scares with strangers on a big screen.
A Quiet Place is the latest surprise-hit in the horror genre. The film’s premise is as simple as they come; we follow a family (John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) in a post-apocalyptic world as they avoid bloodthirsty creatures that hunt by sound.
The film is also written and directed by Krasinski, it is his third directorial outing and while his previous efforts have been uneven, the The Office alumn hits it out of the park. There seems to be a pattern in which comedic actors of yesterday prove to be the horror directors of today (just look at last year’s horror hit Get Out from Key & Peele’s Jordan Peele). In A Quiet Place Krasinski plays with suspense like few seasoned auteurs know how to; the screws in some scenes are tightened so hard I ran out of nails to bite. The horror aspects rarely rely on jump scares, instead gripping onto the inspired element of having a hushed movie. The lack of sound makes viewers more aware of the sound that they themselves are making, be it crunching popcorn or even shifting in your seat. With this surprisingly revolutionary element the horror and tense moments guide themselves, Krasinski can then focus on bringing a more emotional side to the story that heightens the stakes and draws the audience into the characters.
By playing alongside his real-life wife Emily Blunt, Krasinski added to the realism of this family’s relationship, the couple has a chemistry that has left many of us craving for them to team up again. Blunt alone gives us an incredibly powerful performance taking her range from moments of pain and stress to those of gentle caring with the ease of a veteran. The cast is incredibly small, but every actor is on top of their game, the child performers in particular should be noted; both Simmonds and Jupe are two of the most promising young actors of today and they are sure to astound you with such suppressed and matured performances in this film.
The horror genre proves once again to be the breeding ground for originality (due to their budgets being low and thus less studio involvement) and A Quiet Place proves to be a real winner. The small yet talented cast, the inspired directing, and the simple yet captivating premise make this a must-see… in the theater.