1 hour, 30 minutes
PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.
for terror and some bloody images
A suspenseful drama about a household existing under the most dire kind of
threat. Lee (John Krasinski) and Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) live with their
children in a world that has been overrun by violent creatures that are
blind, covered in some kind of organic plated armor, and hunt based on
sound. As long as you keep quiet, they can’t find you, but even if you
manage to sneak up on one, you won’t have much luck dispatching it.
In the films first sequence, we are introduced to Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) her husband Lee (John Krasinski) and their three children – Regan (Millicent Simmonds), who is deaf; Marcus
(Noah Jupe), who is ill; and Beau (Cade Woodward), who is too young to fully
understand the dangers of noisemaking. Barefoot and careful, they creep around
an abandoned drug store, looking for medication to help Marcus. Tragedy strikes
on the way home, however, as Beau inadvertently creates a commotion. He is swiftly
and brutally dispatched by an alien in one of the film’s most frightening moments.
A Quiet Place
jumps ahead a year. The pain and grief associated with Beau’s loss have
diminished but aren’t gone. Teenage Regan is exhibiting signs of rebellion. And
Evelyn, pregnant with her fourth child, is approaching her due date. Lee
continues to enhance their home’s security measures, which include a colored-light
warning system, monitors, and a sound-proof underground room. Everything is in
place to protect Evelyn during the delivery and safeguard mother and child
afterward – until fate intervenes to put everyone in danger at a critical time.
Following Ridley Scott’s 1979 template of not overexposing
the aliens, director Krasinski mostly avoids long, lingering shots of the creatures (at
least until the climax). We catch fleeting glimpses of them in the woods and as
they creep around inside the house. One of the most frightening scenes involves a
character in a bathtub. Another white-knuckle moment happens in a silo where
tons of shifting grain, sucking with quicksand-like efficiency, prove more
dangerous than any alien.
The use of American Sign Language allows the characters to
communicate without speaking. Adding a layer to the importance of silence is
the deafness of the oldest Abbott child; several scenes are presented from her perspective
and, for those, Krasinsblots out all sound, bathing the theater in stillness.
(Actress Millicent Simmonds, the girl from the silent-film portions of Wonderstruck, is deaf in real-life,
fulfilling Krasinski’s requirement that Regan be played by a non-hearing
actress.) Marco Beltrami’s musical score is understated, adding slight emphasis
to certain scenes without ruining the carefully controlled sound design and