A Quiet Place (2018)

<strong class="MovieTitle">A Quiet Place</strong> (2018)

(Netflix Streaming, January 2019) There are quite a few things I don’t like about A Quiet Place from a strict logical standpoint. The premise of the Earth having been devastated by murderous aliens with a keen ear doesn’t survive a critical look. There are plenty of plot holes, dumb decisions and nonsensical implied backstory here, and by the time the normally quiet characters speak normally near a waterfall providing aural cover, one wonders why there aren’t human settlements near Niagara Falls, windy mountain passes, wavy beaches or heavy metal concerts. But A Quiet Place does a bit of essential misdirection in asking us not to think about those things—by focusing its story on an isolated family, paying careful attention to tactile details and featuring a soundtrack that could have been largely lifted from a silent movie, it sets up a simple but effective suspension of disbelief. Actor/writer/director John Krasinski, accompanied by his off-and-on-screen partner Emily Blunt, shows a clear and effective intention for his movie. He ends up making a very effective, very careful use of sound, especially in building up the suspenseful sequences. There is a lot of implied background in the way it simply shows us details about a family having been able to survive in a dangerous world. I’m not that happy with elements of the conclusion, nor the wider perspective of the imagined universe, but it works on a nuts-and-bolt level, and it certainly offers a different watching experience—there’s been a few sound-conscious horror movies lately (Hush and Don’t Breathe among others) but A Quiet Place has something slightly different to say by heading into the Science-Fiction realm. I’m not sure that the announced sequel has anything left to explore, but if this film is anything to judge, then we shouldn’t bet against John Krasinski undertaking further challenging projects.

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