Yes, John Krasinksi did THAT.
First and foremost: The suspense will kill you. While you know someone is going to make a sound, when it happens you shit yourself anyway. Our first thoughts when we saw the trailer were that people would become bored with the vast amount of silence, yet everyone felt the anticipation of what was happening and what may happen. It is what it is says on the tin, it really does suck you in and the cinema truly does become, a quiet place. It’s a film that truly stays with you for the rest of the night, even hours later, simply slamming the car door when we got home felt so wrong, you find yourself questioning every sound you make, and almost speaking in a whisper. Yeah we know we’re not going to be tackled and eaten by an ear monster/alien 10 seconds after making a sound but thats just how good this movie is in eliciting fear.
The whole experience really is shared with every single person in the audience. We watched this on the opening night, with a full screen. Talking, rattling, crunching, sipping, all expected. However this was the most silent audience we’ve ever experienced. We didn’t even hear people eating their food or whispering, purely out of fear of making a sound. Everyone was trying to stay as quiet as the characters themselves, this is what helps the audience connect with the family as you feel you’re in this life of horror and survival together. This is also why I would highly recommend eating before seeing this film, as your stomach will growl and the entire audience will hear what sounds like a fart, this was super embarrassing and will make you cautious about every move you make (believe me). The experience alone is a reason to go and see the film, but by no means the only one.
Lets talk about the creatures. All we know of the creatures in a Quiet Place is that they have come from another planet and hunt by an acute sense of sound. Seeing them didn’t ruin the fear for any of us, if anything it added to it. Despite them being heavily CGI and baring resemblance to the Demogorgon in Stranger Things, it wasn’t at all unoriginal but genuinely terrifying. For me, I’m a fan of horrors like Jaws in which you never even saw the shark as not seeing the antagonist leaves more to the imagination leading people to naturally imagine something scarier. A Quiet Place found the middle ground, by not showing too much of the creature early on but slowly leaking the ugly features throughout the course of the film until the end scenes in which we see the full creature at its creepiest.
Cinematic. As. Hell.
Due to limited dialogue, it heavily relied on the shoulders of sound design, editing and great shots (including some fantastic lens flair). Even though there was limited sound, it wasn’t completely an uncomfortable silence to sit and watch, the use of diegetic sound helped. What we appreciated is being dropped directly into the midst of the story, Its solely on the aftermath of an apocalyptic event and the use of the “days later” was a good feature of the film, they didn’t refer to what actually happened besides the newspaper articles and ‘missing’ posters introduced in the first act, so we are the ones who are left to adapt to what the characters already know. As we’re dropped directly into the midst of the story, there’s no time (or need) for world-ending exposition and the story succeeds further because of this. Krasinski also utilised his limited locations by putting the creature in different (conventional horror) scenarios such as underwater, a cilo and in a corn field to create a more diverse plot and help develop interesting scenes for the audience to enjoy.
I personally went into the film skeptical about actress Emily Blunt, after finding her portrayal of Rachel in Girl On The Train disapointing. However, I was pleasantly surprised with her powerful performance. Due to sound being limited, the emotion conveyed heavily relied on facial and body language. Emily Blunt seriously took charge of the entire film and delivers an absolutely incredible physical and emotional performance in each and every frame which grabs great attention. A special shout-out to the bathtub scene which in future days to come will be one of the most iconic moments in Horror history. We found out after that Millicent Simmonds, who stood out with her emotive performance as their daughter, is deaf in real life too, which was used well within the idea of the film. This is a film about family, and it is guaranteed you’ll get an emotional connection for each of the characters due to the fantastic acting.
The fact that the king of horror, Stephen King even called the film an ‘extraordinary piece of work’ on Twitter and praised the brilliant acting should be enough to encourage to see this film for yourself. He also noted that ‘the main thing is the silence, and how it makes the camera’s eye open wide in a way few movies manage.’ This is something Hollywood is slowly figuring out, releasing films such as Don’t Breathe, and now A Quiet Place, to the hush-hush horror genre.
We highly recommend A Quiet Place, even if you’re not a Horror fan, which we’re particularly not. It is a unique entity with its lack of dialogue, well developed characters and super intense moments. And when you see Michael Bay’s name in the credits, the ending scene really is less bizarre. Go out and see it, just remember to bring a big bag of dorrito’s to annoy everyone in the cinema with.
Hooves Rating: 9 out of 10