“A Quiet Place” Movie Review

In the steady release of horror movies, few stand out among the rest. John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place has not only managed to accomplish that, but has risen to critical acclaim among critics and audiences alike. A Quiet Place demonstrates fantastic character development and storytelling, leaving a lasting impression with its unique take on a classic horror movie trope.

The movie boasts a small but memorable cast following a father and mother (John Krasinski and Emily Blunt) watching over their family (Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds) in a world gone wrong. The acting here is impeccable across the board, despite the lack of talking throughout the film. The movie takes place on a small farm in the woods with the premise that making noise will attract a mysterious threat. Dialogue is scarce, leaving characterization and plot development to lie heavily on the actions of the family instead. This is a place where the film really works, as the audience becomes invested in not only the actions of each character, but reactions as well to understand what makes each person tick.

The removal of dialogue also accentuates the rare times when someone does speak. The viewer has the urge to flinch, expecting danger to come barreling out from the woods and kill the father as he speaks to his son under a roaring waterfall or next to a raging stream.

Silence is key to horror films. It allows moviemakers to establish a set volume to which they can radically build upon to scare their audience. A Quiet Place both follows this trend and doesn’t. Generally, horror movies are prone to the use of loud sounds to scare their audiences, and this movie is no different. But by creating a much more silent movie overall, the spectrum of sound is expanded, allowing the volume spikes to resonate with the audience all the more. Where many films in the same genre use music to build anticipation, A Quiet Place removes everything except a quiet gust of wind, a drop of water, or maybe a singular deep breath. This intense silence in a point of high tension causes the audience themselves to feel as though they must be as silent as possible, to hold their breath even. It is something not often seen in the horror movie genre and it works fantastically.

All of this is not to say that the film didn’t have its bumps. Creating a premise where the quietest sound (a raccoon shuffling in the brush) can trigger the onset of a horrific death will invariably create plot holes. In addition to this, the ending of the movie feels a bit rushed and out of pace with the rest of the film as a whole.

Overall, A Quiet Place has shown that scary movies can be more than cheap thrills and subpar acting. With its unique story, brilliant sound choices, and phenomenal ensemble, the film has set the bar for horror films to come.