A Quiet Place – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

A Quiet Place – 3.5/5 – Horror films have had a big resurgence.  From films like Split, Get Out and IT, you have been able to feel that raw sensation of being scared in the theaters.  It is that thread of tension that creates a great horror experience.  Continuing this resurgence is A Quiet Place.  This film takes a concept, spins it with a great direction and characterization to create a uniquely terrifying experience.  Even when the obviousness of horror tropes scatter throughout, there is enough to make A Quiet Place another good film part of this horror renaissance.

Premise:  In the aftermath of an Alien invasion, a family must learn to live without making a sound.

The film puts its focus on one family:

John Krasinski as Lee Abbott

Emily Blunt as Evelyn Abbott

Noah Jupe as Regan Abbott

Cade Woodward as Beau Abbott

These actors/actresses do an amazing job creating strong characters that reflect the fragility and sincerity in trying to live in a post-apocalyptic world.  Their experiences are portrayed through subtlety and familial interactions.  In these situations, the audience sees, feels and grows close to these characters.  With this focus, you understand that every aspect of their lives is threaten by missteps.  The mannerism, facial expressions and emotional turmoil grips you in ways that are innate to the human psyche.  Through the purposeful lack of dialogue, you experience layers of humility, strength and fortitude that complement the tense scenarios each character has in the film.  No matter what is in the surrounding world, you believe you’re are part of the family trying to survive this nightmare.

The direction takes a script that mixes drama, characterization and horror concepts and creates a journey that is unique by design.  The concepts of ‘post-apocalyptic’ and ‘unknown monster’ is very typical in the horror genre.  By adding the unique design that characters cannot speak, it infuses a delightful twist that brings a need for other elements to succeed.  With a keen eye, the direction lays the foundation through environmental descriptive exposition, then goes through a psychological layering that brings an understanding of the family’s purpose to survive together.  Once everything is set, it becomes a string of experiences towards the unique design.  Putting the characters at the forefront forces the basic plot to fall to the background.  This adds value to the struggles the Abbott family faces.  In the second act, you are following ‘through their eyes’ as they try to survive and bring into this world a newborn.  The family drama allows for a slow build of tension and atmospheric detail.  The high concept brings about a sense of terror through story points that ignore ‘scare tactics’ that are familiar to the genre.  Even if there are obvious plot holes littered throughout, watching the Abbott family survive brings out the fragile balance of our own minds.  This creates a sensation that is innate to the experience, leaving you with that heighten awareness of every detail have an importance in various ways.  As certain events happen, it leads the audience on a roller coaster ride of uncertainty.  Through some twist, foreshadowed plot devices and emotional revelations in the third act, it leads to a climax that is strong, poignant but still terrifying.  Once the film is in its epilogue, it brings the journey to an ominous end.

The visuals are unique for the ongoing story.  Being a post-apocalyptic setting, the contrasting effect of a typical countryside leaves you with that raw anguish of actualization.  Having scenes in relative homesteads makes everything (characters, monsters and deaths) seem closer to home.  The score adds that common horror trope of ‘loudness’ and ‘heavy bass’.  With the lack of dialogue, you are aware of everything that is making noise, which heightens the sense of terror.

A Quiet Place is a film that adds another terrifying experience in a unique way.  With its concept, it binds it to a family drama to create something different but great.  If you’re a fan of horror or like the actors/actresses involved, this is one for you.  It is worth seeing at the theaters, definitely worth seeing with a group of horror fans.

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