Film review: ‘ A QUIET PLACE’, by Nick Gardener from ‘Built For Speed’
A Quiet Place is the second recent film that transforms a post-apocalyptic monster movie scenario into a highly effecting human drama. The other film is Cargo and coincidentally, the male leads in both these film, John Krasinski and Martin Freeman, started playing essentially the same character in different versions of the TV show The Office.
In A Quiet Place, John Krasinski, who also co-wrote and directed the film, plays Lee Abbott the father in one of the few families left alive following what seems to have been an invasion by deadly xenomorph-like aliens. As the creatures are blind but highly sensitive to sound and munch on any unsuspecting dolt who makes a noise, Lee, his wife Evelyn (Krasinski’s real life partner Emily Blunt) and their children have to move through their home and the surrounding forest signing rather than speaking and making every effort not to create loud noises. If only we had such a monster to silence cinema audiences and footy loudmouths.
Like Ben Affleck, Krasinski seems to have slipped effortlessly into the director’s chair. He uses the scenario superbly, extracting maximum tension from a frightened family as they tip toe through life terrified of making sounds, a dilemma made all the more difficult by the arrival of a new baby. The intense silence makes the sudden monster attacks all the more jarring.
Whether this scenario is meant to have greater metaphorical import, such as a commentary on a population silenced by a political oppressor is uncertain. Undeniable though is that, Krasinski uses this set-up to create compelling human dramas that draw on themes of guilt, redemption and responsibility. As nearly all communication is visual and conveyed through signing, gestures and facial expressions the film allows the audience the opportunity to experience life in the way a deaf person would.
Krasinski along with cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen have also created a remarkable looking film with a decaying world captured in autumnal tones that make the film beautiful to look at but foreboding.
While its premise recalls the highly inventive thriller Don’t Breathe and several scenes have clearly been influenced by the likes of Alien and Jurassic Park, thanks to Krasinski’s direction A Quiet Place still has a distinct feel.
There isn’t quite enough plot to sustain the film to the end but for almost all of its running time A Quiet Place is moving and nerve-jangling experience.
Nick’s rating: ****
Director(s): John Krasinski.
Release date: 5th Apr 2018.
Running time: 90 mins.
Reviewer: Nick Gardener can be heard on “Built For Speed” every Friday night from 8-10pm right here on 88.3 Southern FM. Nick can also be heard on “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Film Show” podcast. http://subcultureentertainment.com/2014/02/the-good-the-bad-the-ugly-film-show