Movie Review: ‘A Quiet Place’

April 6, 2018 at 5:15 am | Posted in Movies, Reviews | Leave a comment

A Quiet Place is a good movie while you’re watching it, but it kind of falls victim to being too clever for its own good. The acting and direction of the film does a superb job of sucking you into the story and enveloping you in the suspense of a world held hostage by sound. Any loud noise could draw the attention of a monstrous beast that will devour you. But the catch, the thing that makes the monsters and the movie unique, is also it’s Achilles heel.

Interestingly enough, one of the film’s stars, John Krasinski, is also the director and one of the writers. On top of that, he and Emily Blunt are married in real life. In this movie, they play a married couple with several children. Aside from two other people who get a minute of screen time, those are the only people in the movie. It’s a small cast and a tightly focused story. It doesn’t dwell on what the monsters are or where they came from. The only hints are some scattered newspapers and some marker board attempts to figure out what they’re dealing with. Instead, the movie centers on the family and their struggle to survive. The biggest plot thread is trying to find the monsters’ weakness.

So before I delve into the flaws, let’s take a moment to relish the strengths of this film. First off, the acting is great. With a cast that’s half adults and half children, everyone did a great job of selling their roles. You can feel the fear on their faces when the moments come. Just the looks they give are enough to instill the fear, and it really helps sell the horror element of the movie. To be honest, there isn’t much violence in the film, and there’s no gore whatsoever. The few attacks that happen always happen as the camera pans away. You catch glimpses of the monsters, but they don’t get a lot of full on screen time until closer to the end. Thus the suspense and horror comes from the fear the characters live in.

One of the other unique things about the movie is the silence. It’s not pure silence, but there is very little dialog in this film. In fact no one talks for a long long time. Even then, a good portion of the dialog is barely audible as they sign their words with sign language. Most of the sound in this movie is sound effects. Most of the soundtrack is the natural sound of bugs in summer time and the wind blowing. There’s the occasional creak of something, the muffled sound of footsteps, and the emphasized sound of the characters breathing in those moments when any sound could be their death. In other words, this is a movie that will truly test the patience and self-control of a theater audience. You’re more likely to hear your fellow theater goers than you are anyone in the film itself. Luckily I was in a fairly empty theater, so there were no issues, but I could imagine the sounds of people eating popcorn and talking among themselves could easily ruin the experience of this movie.

The story, as it ends, isn’t too bad. There’s no after credit scene, and it’s a bit of a cliff hanger, but it’s a good one and it’s a little bit positive. This movie is actually kind of bleak when you think about it. And that, right there, is the problem. Once the movie is over, and you start thinking about it, it really starts to suffer. You realize all the plot holes, the shortcomings, and how contrived many of the plot elements were. The movie starts to fall apart. The whole creatures that hunt by sound is a severe flaw when you realize just how vulnerable those creatures would be. Why live in terror when you could build a sound proof house? People do have sound proof rooms, after all, where they can jam out to music and no one else in the house can hear it. And speaking of music, if you were to crank up a radio somewhere nearby, it would flood the creatures with so much sound that they wouldn’t be able to track you. Thus easy get away. The topper, though, is how the creatures’ faces open up, thus making them so easy to shoot in face and kill. How could anyone have trouble stopping these things? Especially the army. And as the critical thinking really starts to kick in, how the heck did they plant that massive corn field without using their noisy tractor?

Thus, in the end, A Quiet Place is a good film, and a bad film. For the hour and 30 minutes you’re in your seat, it’s a gripping experience. For the hours afterwards, it’s a thump your head against the wall, how could these characters be so stupid, wow that plot hole was a mile wide, let down. It’s a movie that seemed good at first, and then you begin to wonder just how good it was. But hey, it’s a horror movie, and you’re typically not suppose to think too much about these things. This certainly isn’t an intelligent horror movie, but it does do a great job with acting, gripping situations, and a suspenseful environment. It’s a bit different than the usual horror flicks, but it’s not the greatest movie ever, or the best in a long time. As is, I give it a three out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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