A Quiet Place movie review: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt-starrer is a masterclass in the art of pacing a horror thriller
A Quiet Place is a perfect movie to watch on the big screen and you should be heading to the theater instead of wasting your time reading this review.
A Quiet Place, directed by John Krasinski, is almost like a master class in the art of pacing a horror thriller. It is consistently eerie, ominous and offers a series of very tense situations that are anchored by characters we are deeply invested in. In many ways, this is a perfect movie to watch on the big screen and you should be heading to the theater instead of wasting your time reading this review.
We are introduced to a world in the near future where some sort of apocalypse has occurred. It is not clear what mishap befell the planet but the camera lingers subtly on newspaper clips that reveals tiny bit of information – just enough for you to be a little terrified of what could happen to you if you lived in this world. Cleverly, Krasinski and his writers Bryan Woods and Scott Beck weave the threat in the plot around the horror trope of a jump scare – much like in Don’t Breathe, the gimmick here is that making noise would be fatal. And of course, the entire narrative is structured around the characters constantly falling into the pit of making accidental noises and being on the verge of certain death.
Normally, such gimmicky plotting would backfire in anything larger than a short film but Krasinski surprises with situational variety and a flair for building up stressful moments that have very satisfying payoffs. This also is not a very low budget horror movie so you also get some very crowd pleasing visual spectacle to boot. There has been a recent surge of metaphorical horror where the monster in the film acts as a double entendre for the human condition, and the filmmakers cleverly avoid showing the threat. There is no such thing here – you are in for a wild ride and the reveal is as horrific as you want it to be, at times even more so.
The setback in most bad horror films is the lack of powerful characters but in A Quiet Place, Krasinski and his off screen wife Emily Blunt, who play a couple, are so magnetic it is hard to take your eyes off them. Even the kids (Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe) are so amazing you tend to forgive the characters for putting themselves in the horror trope-ey deliberate danger. It is tough to praise the reveal of the film without getting into spoiler territory so all you have to know is that it is not only extremely well executed but also uniquely visualised, even in the sub-genre it represents. There are three genuinely stand out sequences that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, and there is one memorable one set inside a flooded basement with a baby sleeping in a floating crib and Blunt’s character panicking over what is approaching her baby.
A special mention goes to the trailers of the film which did very well in not revealing the post-apocalyptic threat that the characters face – and this is particularly smart considering the reveal bomb is dropped within the first 10 minutes of the film. Just go and watch the film already.
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