Have you been wondering what the dude who used to play Jim on The Office has been up to? It turns out, he's been acquiring the skills required to become an excellent director who has just delivered one of the year's first truly excellent movies with A Quiet Place. In addition to directing the flick, John Krasinski stars in this horror/thriller with his real-life wife Emily Blunt, alongside some very talented young actors. The result? A genuinely terrifying, truly unique and ultimately brilliant cinematic experience that rewards your curiosity at every turn.
A Quiet Place takes place in the not-too-distant future in a world that has been ravaged by a mysterious, deadly threat. These monsters have gotten the best of the world and those who have survived have managed to do so by obeying a single, simple rule; stay quiet. The movie mostly follows a single family that has survived for quite some time in this horrifying landscape. The family consists of the unnamed characters played by John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, who are doing their best to keep their children alive, while also trying to retain some semblance of civilized life in a not-at-all civilized world.
This movie has a lot of surprises up its sleeve and it's one of those experiences that really benefits from going into it as blind as possible. A Quiet Place has done a nice job of not spoiling these delightful surprises in the marketing and I'm certainly not going to spoil anything here. I'll start out by saying if you're planning on seeing this movie, awesome! Go do it. You'll be rewarded for your faith. For those who have possibly been doubting this movie, perhaps figuring it will be a cheap gimmick that wears thin too quickly, with some cheap scares for added fluff, I'm here to assure you that couldn't be further from the truth. And no, it's not a Cloverfield movie. That was a prevailing theory, for good reason, but that didn't turn out to be the case. Honestly, the movie is better off for it.
John Krasinski has directed in the past, but never anything on this scale. That said, you would think he's been directing for years, as he provides a masterclass in tension, terror and drama. A Quiet Place is an unbelievably well-crafted popcorn flick that simply doesn't come around all that often. It also is unlike anything I've ever seen. And as a guy who loves anything horror related, finding things new and inventive can be difficult. Krasinski really commits to the whole quiet thing to an admirable degree. Especially considering how he uses it to the movie's advantage, not just because the premise demands it. He avoids making it a cheap trick. He uses it as a narrative tool that adds layer after layer to this movie, with each one of those layers paying off by the end. Oh, and not to give too much away, but the monsters are super cool too. The cherry on the sundae, to be sure.
There are a lot of questions one could ask when walking into a world like the one presented in A Quiet Place. The movie manages to dance the truly difficult dance and delivers enough answers to satisfy, but doesn't over explain itself so much that the mystery is sucked out of it. I struggle to find anything negative to say, really. As I sit here thinking about the ending, I literally have goosebumps. It's truly satisfying in every way a movie like this can be satisfying. Even if you don't like scary movies, if you can handle a few jump scares, this is well worth your time and money.
Emily Blunt and John Krasinski deliver terrific and memorable performances in this movie and the main kids, played by Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds, are poised to be breakout stars thanks to what they've done here. This is a movie that demands to be seen in theaters. It's a movie that makes you want to cheer. Its cleverness will make you smile. It makes you want to scream, and is likely to make you act on that impulse from time to time. It makes you want to cover your eyes in fear. It even makes you laugh, when the time is right. It's a bit early to call A Quiet Place an instant classic. That would be perhaps too bold a statement. But safe to say, Krasinski has crafted one hell of a movie and has himself a fine career as a director ahead of him. And Paramount has what I imagine to be a big hit on their hands.