Movie Beat: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt excellent in “A Quiet Place”
By Jenniffer Wardell
Rated PG-13 for terror and some bloody images
Screenplay by Bryan Woods, Scott Beck and John Krasinski, story by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck
Directed by John Krasinski
Starring John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe and more
Grade: Three stars
You’ll never hear sound the same way again.
“A Quiet Place,” the new movie by “Office” alum John Krasinski, is a beautifully made, surprisingly moving horror movie that weilds silence and sound like a weapon. Though not having kids might keep you from feeling the full emotional impact, the movie offers everyone a tense survival adventure that will make you hyper aware of every footstep.
The movie is set in the near future, after humanity has largely been wiped out by monsters who brutally murder anyone who makes a loud noise. With a deaf child who can’t hear the monsters, an old grief that never healed, and a new baby about to come in the world, a set of parents struggle to keep their children alive against impossible odds.
This may be the quietest movie you ever see in your life. The movie itself is nearly silent, which means that even the smallest sounds become the source for prime jump scares. What’s more interesting is that the audience rapidly goes quiet as well, leaving the theater almost completely free of ambient noise and only highlighting the impact of the movie’s use of noise.
Krasinski does an excellent job with pacing, carefully building up audience dread and never letting people feel truly at rest. He also does a great job giving the movie a lot of emotional depth, focusing on expressions and letting them give weight to nearly silent moments. Though I have some minor quibbles with the plotting on a particular pivotal scene, the acting nearly manages to carry it.
In some ways, the movie is all about emotions. Krasinski, who also co-wrote the script and stars with real-life wife Emily Blunt, is clearly using the movie to explore some of his own hopes and fears about parenting. This leads to some lovely moments, but if you don’t have kids it’s hard not to feel a step removed from some of the movie’s biggest scenes.
In the end, though, there’s a lot the movie does right. If nothing else, it’s not easy to make people jump at the sound of a door closing.
(Photo © Paramount)