The offbeat comedic actor John Krasinski is widely known for playing Jim on The Office and the fifth incarnation of Jack Ryan on the upcoming Amazon Prime series. A Quiet Place is his third movie–and the first horror movie–he has ever directed. It raises the question: What can you do to protect your family? I have never seen a horror movie so smart and suspenseful.
In the not-too-distant future, the world is overrun by creatures who are blind yet highly sensitive to sound. The Abbots are the only surviving family who live on a farm and communicate through sign language. Lee (Krasinski), the father, has great survival skills, from growing crops to catching fish. He would go out of his way to protect his pregnant wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt), deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck), and son Marcus (Noah Jupe). Once the creatures begin to invade their house, they must keep quiet.
Two movies that easily come to mind while watching this movie are Tremors and Signs. While they similar regards to the main concept, what co-writer/director/star Krasinski brings to the table is something fresh for this day and age. This movie contains minimal dialogue and it’s high on suspense. Krasinski and Blunt (who are a married couple in real life) are at the top of their game here. While communicating through body language and sign language, they do express their love for one another. The movie is perfectly described as a metaphor about, as Krasinski says in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, “what family is and the extremes you go to as a parent to protect your kids.” Evelyn makes a good question to her husband in one of the film’s most emotional scenes: “Who are we if we can’t protect them?”
I don’t think this movie would contain any authenticity if a non-deaf actress played the deaf daughter. Simmonds, who is actually deaf, is truly one-of-a-kind! Casting a deaf actress is the smart way to go. If the family didn’t have a deaf child, how would they survive on this terrible planet?
What carries A Quiet Place through is the atmosphere and building up tension. The scene in the bathtub (among other scenes) will make audiences squirm. I had my hand on my mouth throughout the entire movie. It’s difficult to look away from one of the best horror movies of this century!