Editor’s Note: John Krasinski directed The Hollars in 2016. This is his first major release film
There are only a handful of films coming out this year that I’m legitimately looking forward to seeing. One film that I have looked forward to for some time is A Quiet Place, which is a film was written, staring, and directed by John Krasinski. Being big fans of both Krasinski and his wife Emily Blunt, this trailer for this film seemed like a no-brainer. An anxiety-ridden horror film when no one speaks or is even allowed to make the slightest sound with two likable leads at the helm…count me in.
A Quiet Place is set in the year 2020, blind fast-moving monsters that hunt by sound has wiped out a large majority of the population. While the Abbott family scavenge a local town for meds only communicating sign language, the youngest of the three children, Beau turns on a toy rocket and the sound attracts the attention of one of the creatures killing him. One year later, it seems almost practical that they would decide to have another child in a post-apocalyptic world where sound can literally get you killed…great environment for a newborn.
There are a few details in the story that you have to look past because they are the typical horror clichés that drive you up a wall. Kids are usually the ones that act irrationally and put the others in danger. 470+ days into an end of the world event and someone in the film is pregnant with no doctor for delivery or basic prenatal care who will certainly be a liability at a critical part of the film. We have seen these before and they are eye rollingly irritating. Issues with the setup aside, A Quiet Place is a well done and welcome addition to the horror genre. John Krasinski wisely keeps it simple in his directorial début. A small cast with a handful of actors, the setting is very confined to a specific location, and the premise allows the actors to do more with very little dialogue.
One of the things I give this film credit for is utilizing horror clichés and finding smarter ways to making them work. Normally I would complain about jump scares, but in a film like this, the jumps are actually more effective because hearing any sounds usually means that something really bad is going to happen to someone. There is also a very clever recurring plot device with a nail on the floor that the film squeezes every bit of usefulness out of. With Hollywood’s thirst for quarter billion dollar budgets, one of the fundamental things that they have forgotten is that sometimes less is more and that is where a film like this excels.
It’s hard to give too many details in away and such a confined story like this but A Quiet Place is a quality first step for John Krasinski as a director, I’m definitely interested to see what he can do outside the realm of horror, but thanks to the brilliant acting of him and Emily Blunt, this is definitely one of the few must-sees thus far in 2018.