Be quiet and stay alive. That’s the name of the game in this spring’s latest horror movie, A Quiet Place. Best-known as Jim Halpert in NBC’s hit series The Office, John Krasinski directs and stars in this delightfully consummate horror/thriller.
A man and his family battle deficient resources and sound-sensitive monsters in post-apocalyptic upstate New York. Together with his pregnant wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt), deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and anemic son Marcus (Noah Jupe), Lee Abbott (Krasinski) must avoid these predators while foraging for survival and searching for their foes’ elusive weakness.
Monsters are the most evident threat, yet Krasinski uses the harsh conditions they impose—absolute silence—to tell the story of family members struggling to understand and express their love for one another. An inexorably suspenseful tone, outstanding acting and superb writing come together to make this silently soulful story one unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Post-apocalyptic horror movies are a dime a dozen,and yet Krasinski sets his apart through an unprecedentedly character-driven story. By taking a familiar monster/apocalypse premise, A Quiet Place uses genre conventions to its advantage while simultaneously redefining those conventions. Krasinski’s film does employ a familiar horror premise, yet uses the framework to examine family struggle and heartbreak like never before.
The acting in A Quiet Place is phenomenal. Krasinski draws on years of subdued altruism from roles in The Office and Michael Bay’s 13 Hours. His offscreen wife, Blunt, becomes his onscreen partner in this creature feature, easily pulling her weight and lending discernible soul to the Abbott family. Simmonds and Jupe give inspired outings also, rivaling those that elevated 2017’s It to its deserved acclaim. A deaf girl herself, Simmonds uses her disability movingly as a character screaming for love in a world that demands silence.
The past 12 months have been busy for the horror genre. 2017 brought us Get Out and It, horror films that used the medium to examine racial politics and champion childhood friendships, respectively. A Quiet Place joins them as one of the most intelligently written and substantively deep horror movies made in recent memory. Coming in at a 9/10, A Quiet Place is a gripping, heartwarming horror that you cannot miss.