Jungle
A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place

Movie
Director(s): 
Genre: 
In Theatres: 
Apr 06, 2018
Grade:
A
Running Time: 
95 minutes

Directed by and starring John Krasinski (as the patriarch, Lee) A Quiet Place is a sensational suspense, sci-fi, horror combo that works in an incredible concert. We don’t know when, how, or why, but now the earth has been invaded by night invincible, high-speed monsters who hunt via sound. They race to their victims with stabbing pinchers and large, flapping ears. Mundane daily tasks suddenly carry unimaginable weight. 

The survivors have covered their paths with sand to obscure the sound of their footsteps, abandoned all shoes, and painted creaking wooden floors to mark their safe, quiet spots. Batteries are taken out of toys and sign language is taught as a matter of survival. Idyll as the farmhouse seems, with the quiet, organic meals, after dinner monopoly games and warm white lights guiding the way in the dark, death is little more than a whisper away.  The family is creating as much of a life as they can, after a tragedy, but how do you complicate things in this hellscape? Have a baby.

Despite the risk, mother to be, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) is excited and nesting. Lee, between sending out SOS signals on every international radio wave, creates a soundproof crib, and struggles to improve a hearing aid for his deaf daughter, Regan. Portrayed by Millicent Simmonds, Krasinski said he sought a deaf actress, "... for many reasons, I didn't want a non-deaf actress pretending to be deaf. Most importunely [sic] though, because a deaf actress would help my knowledge and my understanding of the situations tenfold. I wanted someone who lives it and who could teach me about it on set."

Lee believes her hearing is a matter of survival. However, Regan has tired of the hearing aids that never work and their relationship is strained as Lee becomes emotionally and physically distant from his daughter. When he takes his son, Marcus (Noah Jupe) on a fishing trip, he refuses to bring his daughter even when she is insistent. Instead he asks her to stay with her mother. The gender roles and hobbling of his daughter’s survival skills felt out of place and contrived and Regan storms off as I would have.

Then Marcus and Lee are interrupted on the way home. At home, Evelyn has gone into early labor and a nail, having become unmoored from the basement steps, is now a spike awaiting a naked foot. Regan has run off.

There is a reminder of  M. Night Shyamalan in the alien creatures in the cornfields and the possible twist that could save them, but these are an amalgamation of his best ideas with far better directing and storytelling. The film’s scheme of sound being deadly creates an electric and infectious tension that seeps into the audience. It pulls you in, making anything that happens on screen feel vital. This undivided attention connects so intensely you’ll hold your own breath and try to chew your popcorn more quietly.

Maria Jackson
Review by Maria Jackson
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