It’s surprising to see such a terrific horror debut from John Krasinski, a man who I’ve never been much of a fan of. “A Quiet Place” has just about converted me in to a fan, as he manages to deliver a very challenging genre film that relies a lot on the weight of the performances from the cast, rather than explosions, shocks, and cheap thrills. Krasinski’s horror film is poetic in its way and explores how sound means a lot in the medium of cinematic storytelling. Sound, music, it counts for almost everything and can either keep the audience baited for ninety minutes or lose them in the first five.
I was very much kept engrossed and involved “A Quiet Place” from the very beginning as Krasinski places his characters in a tough corner and never lets them out of it. “A Quiet Place” is set in an immediate future where the world has been taken over by blind blood thirsty monsters that have impeccable hearing. Most of the human population has either been devoured by these monsters, and what’s left of them have taken refuge underground. To make matters even more difficult, those without an escape have learned to live life without making a single sound. This proves to be a hell in and of its own, as we’re met with a family of survivors that have to meticulously plan every single movement in their body, lest they become prey to these enigmatic monsters.
John Krasinski is fantastic in his role as Lee, patriarch of the Abbott family who bide their time, trying to sap happiness out of such a miserable existence. Krasinski is very good in portraying this man who is literally at the end of his rope, and struggles to find out how to outwit or beat the monsters, allowing them some semblance of normality. Matters become even more complicated as Lee’s wife Evelyn is on the verge of giving birth to her new child, and learns that coping with a newborn will prove disastrous in this environment. Krasinski has a very good platform to deliver a ton of jump scares and shocks, but “A Quiet Place” excels more in being a subtle and very engaging horror film with shades of a family drama.
How can you keep your family together in such a harrowing circumstance? Krasinski is very good in deriving chills, especially in peak moments involving the near inevitability of human error at every turn, but he also is great in spotlighting this family whose bond is stronger than this circumstance. The media will be very quick to brand “A Quiet Place” a drama with horror elements, but Krasinski’s film is very much a creature feature and apocalypse tale where enormous terror relentlessly tests the bonds of a family. It’s a creepy, eerie, creative, and moving genre film, and one I quite enjoyed until the very end.