Sunday, April 15, 2018

Movie Review: A Quiet Place

Early spring horror with surprising success at the box office could become a recurring thing and I'm all for it. This latest horror from John Krasinski starring his wife Emily Blunt has a unique concept that elevates the terror but I found the fast and easy resolution and lack of many hints at a bigger world a little underwhelming even though I was pretty entertained throughout the movie. The film goes for a more straightforward kind of story and the exemplary box office success is amplified by the low production budget. There are no other major characters beyond the family of five that is shrunken in the first horrific scene of the film. The apocalypse has arrived, shown through an abandoned town where the Abbott family searches a store for medicine for their son Marcus Abbott (Noah Jupe).

Their youngest son has an idea of a taking a rocket away from this horror and the thought makes him desire a rocket ship toy that the parents Evelyn (Blunt) and Lee (Krasinski) take the batteries out of, but their daughter, the eldest child, Regan (Millicent Simmonds) gives him back the toy. A monster kills their son away and the film flashes forward hundreds of days. The Abbott family has settled into a farmhouse with habits that keep their movements quiet. Through a conspiracy wall, the information shows that the monsters are armored and they have not figured out what their weaknesses are. One reason that the family has been so effectively silent is that Regan is deaf and the family knows how to communicate with sign language. 

Lee builds hearing aids for Regan but they never seem to work. Evelyn is pregnant and worries about the upcoming birth that will definitely not be silent. Lee and Marcus had out on an expedition where they can fish and speak amongst a waterfall without attracting the monsters. However, they run into an old man who just lost his wife and screams attracting a monster. Evelyn steps on a nail and falls down the stairs bringing several monsters. Her water broke so she must sneak up into a bathtub which serves as one of the major promo images. The monsters come after her but Marcus sets off a fireworks display that distracts them so that Lee can make it to her after she has the child. The parents hide in the basement while Regan and Marcus run to the grain silo. Regan's hearing aid affects the monsters somehow, making them run away but she doesn't realize it. 

Lee goes out after the other two children as Evelyn stays behind in the basement that has begun to flood. The kids fall into the grain and nearly drown. The noise brings a monster but Regan's hearing aid scares it off. Evelyn quiets her baby with an oxygen mask and a loud noise distracts it. Lee sends the kids away to hide and screams to attract the monster to him as Regan and Marcus watch. The kids use a truck to roll away and hide with their mother but the monsters encroach. Regan finally realizes that her hearing aid hurts the monsters and she amplifies it through a microphone and speaker. Evelyn uses a shotgun to kill one and is prepared to fight more as the movie ends.

A Quiet Place appears to be a huge success and I hope this means plenty more horror as that seems to be the growing genre these days. For a low price, films can be made that dominate the box office when superheroes aren't flying high. Krasinski excels at directing with this unique concept that demands the focus of a theater and the excellent use of sound. Emily Blunt is the veteran actress but stellar performances from the young cast of Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds really make the film enjoyable. I hope there are plenty more films just like this one. 

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