I first got to know of John Krasinski’s third feature film, A Quiet Place when he came to promote it on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, a talk show I’m extremely fond of. When he spoke about the plot, it really intrigued me. So much so that I decided to give the film a watch in the theatre. This is an extremely bold step for me because I am not a fan of the horror genre and the film was mostly spoken of as a horror.
I can say it for a fact that A Quiet Place was one of the unique cinematic experiences that I’ve had in my lifetime. The film not only excels in script writing but also in direction and execution of ideas. Many times there are films you come across which make you feel that they deserved better execution, but A Quiet Place isn’t one of those. Krasinski has made a flawless film that has nearly sixty lines of dialogues throughout its entire runtime and relies on it’s extremely talented cast and silence to instil a sense of panic and fear in the audience.
A Quiet Place follows the Abbott family – husband Lee, wife Evelyn, and kids Regan, Marcus and Beau in a deserted town, where it is shown with the use of televisions and newspaper clippings that most of the Earth’s population has been wiped out by sound sensitive creatures. The creatures hunt the victims at the slightest sound made by them. The family is skilled in American Sign Language due to their daughter Regan being congenitally deaf but have to be careful of making the accidental noise. The film is the story of how the family manages to survive against all odds in a place (and planet) that’s almost become devoid of any human life.
Amidst hordes of horror thrillers releasing throughout the year, where A Quiet Place actually stands out, is its originality. John Krasinski’s breakout act was in the US version of the famous British sitcom The Office, in which a major part of the show was spent in close up interviews with the characters. He is someone who understands the value a close-up shot has, and he has filled the film with lots of them, capturing every nuance of expressions from the characters. A Quiet Place is very layered with so many different aspects of the film. On one side, it is a testament to the wit and patience of a family who has survived against all odds not just by luck, but by using their brains. The Abbott family plan every step to avoid making any noise that might attract the predators.
On the other hand, the film shows a set of parents ready to sacrifice anything for their kids. Krasinski said this film is his way of expressing his love for his children and when you see the film, it shows. It shows how much time has been spent in the writing room to create a very average family at the heart of it, with regular problems that we all face, in spite of a dystopian setting.
John Krasinski brilliantly directs this sleek thriller with a tight script and perfect runtime. As mentioned before, Krasinski’s use of close-ups is a very significant feature of the effect the film has on a viewer. The location, the setting, the use of jumpscares at the right moments so as to not make it a poor regular horror flick are all well thought out by him. The film is also extremely well edited by Christopher Tellefsen, playing an important role in keeping you at the edge of your seats throughout.
Krasinski does a tremendous performance in playing Lee Abbott, while cleverly casting his own wife Emily Blunt to play his wife Evelyn. Blunt is a terrific actress as it is and she nails this role as well. The kids cast in this film, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe were also excellent in their own roles as the children. Overall, the acting is truly commendable, as most of the dialogue has to be expressed in sign language and facial expressions, and not just Krasinski and Blunt, but Simmonds and Jupe were able to pull it off brilliantly.
We don’t see a film like A Quiet Place these days. A film or rather should I say a director who understands the effect of silence, and uses this to its advantage completely. Rather than using spooky music, this film just uses silence to set up the dystopian world and presents the horror to the audience. This is not a silent film, but it is a film that uses silence to amplify its effect on its audience and I feel that is what distinguishes this film from the average horror or any film that we see. So, it’s almost a guarantee that the binge eaters in theatres will get stick from the others for sure.
The film performed very well in the box office in spite of being made on a low budget, and a sequel is reportedly in the works already. I cannot wait to see where Krasinski takes these characters next.
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An aspiring programmer by passion, Tuhin is a serial procrastinator and is occupied with three M’s – Movies, Music and Manchester United. He is obsessed with the use of colour in films, something he pours out more often than not on his Facebook page.