By Daylon Bonner, Staff Writer
***This review does contain spoilers!!***
New horror film “A Quiet Place” is directed by “The Office” alum, John Krasinski, who also wrote the script and stars in the film. He acts opposite his wife Emily Blunt, who also plays his wife in the film. You may know her from “The Devil Wears Prada” or the upcoming film “Mary Poppins Returns.”
The concept of the film is a family must attempt to quietly survive because of the aliens who have invaded. The aliens hunt almost exclusively by sound, restricting how much noise anyone can make.
This is a good movie that takes advantage of a clever concept.
The film is well shot and makes it feel as though the aliens can attack from essentially anywhere. Particularly, when on the farm, a sense a claustrophobia is present. The film is also clever for barely showing the aliens in full view, which helps increase the uneasiness for when they do appear.
Praise must be given to the sound design team and commitment of the actors. Very rarely does anything loud ever occur, so when there is any noise, it is turned into a moment of suspense. Somehow, this film managed to make a toy rocket ship scary.
Also, the actors showed commitment by having much of the dialogue in the film be relayed via sign language and facial expressions. Characters may mumble a few words here and there, but verbal dialogue is kept to a minimum, making its use more important when it does occur.
Blunt, as usual is great in her role. While she may mostly play a simple mother type, she does it well. Furthermore, she shows that she can deal with an insane amount of pain and take care of herself. Her character is pregnant for most of the film and eventually has to figure out how to give birth without being heard by the aliens. She and her daughter are the two most developed characters in the film.
Credit needs to be given to Millicent Simmonds, who plays the deaf daughter Regan Abbott. She is also deaf in real life. She plays a strong character who blames herself for a past mistake. Given that, some of her more reckless choices are actually understood, and to a certain extent, justified. In addition, she learns from her mistakes and makes her lack of hearing an advantage rather than a setback.
As for flaws, only two major ones stick out. The first being that the concept of the film is way more memorable than any of the characters. The dad, Lee Abbott, played by Krasinski, and the son, Marcus Abbott, played by Noah Jupe, do not have any overtly memorable traits about them.
Lee is just a dad trying at all costs to protect his family and not much else. Marcus is simply too afraid to really do anything. He has one moment of courage and then he is rather useless for the remainder of the film.
The female characters are not fleshed out too much better than the male characters, but more time is spent with them, leading to their characters being more developed.
Truth be told, the biggest selling point of this film is its concept, not its characters. Unfortunately, it shows through in how the family is portrayed.
The other flaw is with the scares in the film. Mindful of the effective ones, this film does have a few too many false jump scares. The film will try to jolt a reaction out of audience members even though nothing scary is happening. While the false scares do occasionally revolve around character moments, some may find their overuse annoying.
“A Quiet Place” is a good movie with decent characters and cleverly utilized concept. Put together it feels like a clever twist on “Alien” with a dash of “It” thrown in for good measure. The film is a strong seven out of ten. “A Quiet Place” is in theaters now.