A Quiet Place delivers horror with heart

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 6, 2018

By Steve Newton

In A Quiet Place, Lee Abbott—played by director, co-writer, and executive producer John Krasinski—has it rough. He lives in a post-apocalyptic world teeming with fierce alien monsters that hunt humans through sound. The slightest noise will have them racing towards you out of nowhere, and then it’s game over, man. Game over!

To make staying alive even more challenging, Abbott has three young children, and you know how noisy kids can be. Then to top it off, his wife Evelyn (Krasinski’s real-life spouse Emily Blunt) is pregnant and about to give birth. Now, I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing as silent labour. Both times I was in the delivery room all the shushing in the world couldn’t get my wife to keep it down. And have you ever tried shushing a newborn?

So the Abbott clan certainly has its work cut out for it as far as surviving goes, but they make the best of their muted existence. Everyone is adept at sign language–the oldest child is deaf–and everyone goes barefoot, walking on tippy-toes when needed. Outdoor pathways are plied with sand to deaden footfalls. Even the pieces of their board games are padded, with the dice rolled only onto soft, quiet cloth.

A hugely refreshing change from the barrage of horror movies that use shrieking sound-effects as their stock-in-trade, A Quiet Place thrives within its unique concept, the forced silence and constant fear of being heard and instantly slaughtered building palpable tension and dread.

Strong performances by Blunt and the particularly impressive Millicent Simmonds help you get over the film’s implausible moments, and there are a few. Krasinski’s deft direction keeps you involved with the Abbotts’ precarious situation, though, and ultimately A Quiet Place emerges as an effective nightmare-maker for parents that is one of those rarest and most welcome commodities for fright-flick fans: horror with heart.

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