By Tessa Bowman
A Quiet Place stars actor-director John Krasinski, alongside his real and movie wife Emily Blunt, fighting to survive and protect their children in a world desolated by carnivorous creatures. In the year 2020, an infestation of animals run down human population and civilizations. Lee (Krasinski) and Evelyn Abbott (Blunt) find themselves as scavengers in a post-apocalyptic American town with their three children, Reagan, who is deaf, Marcus and Beau.
An interesting aspect of the film is the reliance on context clues in order for story telling, rather than the dialogue directly telling the audience what to think or what is important to know. Through scattered newspapers cluttered in the background, the audience is able to piece together what happened prior to the plot of the movie. The movie isn’t obvious, the writers don’t feel the need to hold the audience’s hand in order to get a point across. The subtleness and fluid movement of the plot without need for narration is what adds to the movie.
The entire premise to A Quiet Place is that these creatures that plague the world around the family are blind, but very sound sensitive. Hence, the reasoning behind the title – as living in a quiet place is what is in order to avoid being hunted and killed by these creatures.
Noise is used to the movie’s advantage, as most background noise and dialogue is sparse or at least dulled. Any sound appears more abrupt since there’s such a stark devoid of it, adding to the movie thrilling jumpscares, not as cheap and melodramatic as the normal horror movie. The music also adds to the horror or unnerving mood of the movie; suspense raises alongside the building crescendo of the unsettling music.
Additionally, the characters created and the intricate, humbling family dynamics establishes a strong connection with the audience to the Abbott family. The audience can clearly see the need Lee and Evelyn have for the protection of their children, they would clearly stop at nothing when it comes to the kids’ safe-keeping. This connection between the audience and the characters is what ultimately leads to the most suspense, or tension, because the audience genuinely feels afraid for them.
Overall, A Quiet Place is a refreshing take on the “horror” genre, although the actual film itself seems to affiliate as more of a thriller. The plot introduces a rare and fresh new plot, something that truly has not been done before. With recent horror films like It, released last September, alongside A Quiet Place, the “lesser” or cheap association that the horror genre previously held seems to be decimating. As more high-budget and intricate storylines are brought to horror movies, the genre has a fresh face, which will hopefully spawn more movies alongside the greatness that is A Quiet Place.