Watch this as soon as you can…
Few horror films made today stick with you in quite the same way as A Quiet Place. It is memorable for its unbearable suspense. Telling the story of a family which must maintain constant silence to stay safe in a world filled with predators roaming a post-apocalyptic world. The opening effectively sets the dystopian, brutal tone. With strong performances, a simple but effective premise, and an incessant sense of anxiety, this is a horror to be remembered.
The central premise of the film is that all the characters have to avoid making noise. If they keep quiet, they will be able to live their lives without threat from the roaming monsters which now dominate the American landscape. As this film masterfully exploits, keeping quiet is difficult. Very difficult. As a result, the film leaves the viewer constantly feeling anxious. Every sound used is effective and amplified by the silence. A simple knock of a glass bottle becomes one of the most impactful jump scares in recent memory. Evelyn (Emily Blunt) is a pregnant mother too, serving as a time bomb in an atmosphere already leaving us with a crippling sense of tension.
This tone is set up with a gripping and brutal opening. We get poignantly dystopian shots of a civilisation collapsed. Empty supermarkets and forgotten streets. A toy is turned on and tragedy strikes the family, in a ruthless and shocking death that comes and goes as quickly as the predators. The stakes are real, and the film maintains this momentum, and all the scares.
Despite the desolation, there is something hopeful and moving about the Abbott family making do and bonding together through this tough environment. John Krasinski is not just a director with a craftsman’s control of suspense. He is also one of the lead actors, portraying Lee Abbot as a practical but caring father. Emily Blunt plays Evelyn, conveying the agony and strength of her character credibly. The two child actors, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe, also deliver solid performances as children shaped by, and adapted to, a hostile environment. Despite the brutal horror, the family moments add a lot of emotional weight to this film. An emotional weight that pays off in the final act with yet another crushing twist.
The family are very likeable and you want them to survive. Sadly, this is not guaranteed. Krasinski has created a suspenseful film set in a perilous post-apocalyptic landscape. Everything is silent, survival depending on the quiet, until a mistake is made, and you are forced to jump out of your seat. This is a horror that sticks with you. Once the credits roll, the only sound you can hear are cries for A Quiet Place 2.