Movie Review: A Quiet Place

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(Picture Credit HERE)

I am a fan of horror stories and horror movies. Nothing is better than empathizing with the characters and listening to my heart race as the action picks up. One of my problems lately is that I haven’t been excited to see a horror movie in the theater for a long time. I don’t know if it is because I am desensitized or if my expectations are too high.

When I saw the first trailer for A Quiet PlaceI felt excited. I saw something not necessarily unique, but different enough that my interest was piqued. I avoided opening weekend because one of the biggest complaints about the movie in the reviews was that a full theater could ruin the experience of a “quiet” movie. I waited until Avengers Infinity War came out before gathering up my movie popcorn bucket. I was one of 4 people in the theater watching the movie, mission accomplished.

Before I go any further, I will say that if you haven’t seen it spoilers ahead. So if you do not want to read anything that would ruin the movie for you stop reading right now. I’ll provide some space, so you don’t accidentally see anything.

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Last chance. Turn back now if you don’t want to read spoilers.

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Okay, that’s enough space.

John Krasinski directs and stars in this movie with Emily Blunt. They play Lee and Evelyn Abbott and have three children Regan, Marcus, and Beau. Regan is congenitally deaf which pays off big time for the family because “Death Angels” have decimated the human population. They hunt solely by sound, and by hunt I mean they brutally slaughter any living thing that makes a noise above a whisper. The family communicates primarily through sign language. No worries if you can’t read sign language because subtitles are provided (be prepared to read some).

The movie opens with the family scavaging in a nearby store. Marcus has fallen ill, and they raid a local store for medicine and supplies. Beau, the youngest child, becomes fascinated with a toy space shuttle. The dad takes it away, but big sister Regan gives it back to him and tells him to be quiet. Naturally, it is the noisiest damn thing on the planet, and he just has to play with it on the family’s journey back home. Monsters swoop out of the woods and turn him into a blood and bone splatter in front of the whole family. Everyone is sad, and Regan blames herself for her little brother’s death.

Boom! Smash cut to one year later.

Evelyn is pregnant and about to pop. This creates a very tricky problem. How is she going to go through childbirth without making noise? We get to see how the Abbotts live from day to day. Extra emphasis is placed on their hypervigilance and muting of everything. There is an interesting scene where they are playing Monopoly rolling the dice on the carpet and using crocheted pieces on the board.

Lee is focused on trying to contact the outside world via radio using Morse code and trying to repair a cochlear implant for Regan so she can hear. Lee and Marcus end up going fishing and Regan goes to visit the site where Beau was killed. I guess the new baby’s arrival had her still feeling guilty about Beau’s death.

Lee and Marcus go fishing, and Marcus learns a lesson about how they can make a sound if there is a louder sound that masks it. There is a touching scene where they find a waterfall and have a conversation speaking out loud. On their way back home they encounter an old man whose wife had just died. He commits suicide via scream. The monsters at this point are still moving so fast you only catch glimpses.

Meanwhile, back at the Abbott ranch. Evelyn is going about daily house chores when her water breaks. Watching her try to stay quiet through contractions adds to the tension. Of course, that’s not good enough for this movie. She has to go and step on a nail as she makes her way towards a heavily soundproofed basement. She drops a picture frame and here come the monsters.

You get the idea by now: Make sound creatures come; hide from creatures; Make another sound; hide from creatures; repeat ad nauseam.

It was at this point in the movie I realized that it was nothing special and relied on traditional jump scare tactics. I was expecting a film more similar to Silent HouseIt’s not that this is a bad movie, but it just loses steam too quickly. It became too predictable, and the novelty of a quiet movie lost its luster along the way. I’m not going to get into the ending because it has been done to death.

I’m not saying it was a bad movie, but I wish I would have waited until it came out on video.

Until next time!

Arthur Unk

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