A Quiet Place takes a high concept and runs with it to absolute glory. The set-up is simple. Humanity has been decimated by fearsome creatures. They hunt by using sound. Anything out of the ordinary background noise is detected and savaged mercilessly. To survive, you must be quiet. That's the rule, plain and simple. A Quiet Place is no gimmick. It is a chilling, brilliantly crafted exploration of humanity and terror. A Quiet Place is the best horror film since Get Out.
John Krasinski and his real-life wife, Emily Blunt, star as Lee and Evelyn Abbott. They have three children. The oldest, a teenage girl Regan (Millicent Simmonds), was born deaf. Evelyn is pregnant with their fourth. They live on a rural farm, a normal, loving family.
A Quiet Place begins in the aftermath of the apocalypse. Lee and Evelyn have gone to extraordinary measures to soundproof their farm. Their existence is a nonstop war against noise. The Abbott's must protect their family from a terrifying enemy, but also try to establish some kind of normalcy for the children. The situation is near impossible and fraught with peril. The Abbotts try to account for every permutation, but childbirth and a baby in this new world may be a hill too steep to overcome.
A Quiet Place will have you on baited breath. Just like the characters, you will be afraid to utter a single word. The script by John Krasinski, Scott Beck, and Bryan Woods is deftly crafted. It is Hitchcockian in its approach. Every moment is dire. Every character plays a part. There is no fluff or gratuity. It is a family's sheer will to survive. The leanness of the plot, the painstaking detail; it all makes the Abbotts enthralling. They could be your next door neighbors. The writing here is just so damn good. A Quiet Place, just like Get Out, is an early contender for best original screenplay.
John Krasinski directs the hell out of this film. Remember, this is not the megacity Armageddon. A Quiet Place takes place almost entirely on a farm and the surrounding woods. Krasinski defines intimacy with his approach. A lot of exposition is spent on the creatures, but much more time is spent on the family dynamic. They are not action heroes, nor do they behave irrationally. This is perhaps the best tenet of the film. But they also make mistakes. People, especially children, do not listen, do not follow rules. The characters and their predicaments are completely logical. Combine this realism with Krasinski's spellbinding tension and you have a winner.
Avoid spoilers at all costs. I'd love to deep dive into the performances. Emily Blunt is tremendous, but that gives away too much of the goods. Knowledge of the overall plot won't hurt, but details will ruin the fun. The creatures are fantastic. That's all you need to know. Once the secrets are out, audiences will undoubtedly wax poetic about the what if's and the how's. I will say that A Quiet Place does require a spoonful suspension of disbelief. But it's a horror movie about sound hunting monsters, so that shouldn't be an issue. Walk in cold and be prepared to clutch someone tightly.
Paramount Pictures has a hit with A Quiet Place. This film is the first true sleeper blockbuster of the year. I normally am not a horror fan but was blown away. John Krasinski's stock rises dramatically. He's a good actor, and now a bonafide talent as a director/writer. A Quiet Place is his baby. He deserves the lion's share of accolades for its success. Run to see this film the minute it opens.