John Krasinski crafts a capable and entertaining horror thrill ride.
"A Quiet Place" is a horror thriller from actor/director John Krasinski. The film follows a family as they try to survive in a world plagued with monsters who hunt exclusively with sound. The film is mostly dialogue-free as the characters refuse to make a noise in order to not attract the hyper-sensitive monsters. Many of the film's thrills come from this main conceit, any loud sound is amplified by the terror that one of the indestructible hunters could pop up. There's an especially effective sequence in which a character is put in a predicament and forced to use HER wits in order to survive.
The film has a running time that would usually get me incredibly excited (a cool 90-minutes) and yet in this film, it's the most disappointing thing about it. The film sets up an interesting world and some cool family dynamics only to have them underdeveloped due to the films short run time. Not only that but Krasinski doesn't exactly handle every moment as economically as he possibly can. Some of the interesting family drama is often sidelined for some decent but hollow and frankly boring jump scares.
Even with some hollow jump scares the film is able to use them semi-successfully due to some characters that are enjoyable to watch and root for. More specifically the wife (Emily Blunt) and the daughter (Millecent Simmons) who each light up the screen in different ways. Blunt with her lovable and charismatic energy and Simmons with her troubled and caring intensity. These two are just an absolute joy to watch and every scene that includes them is a blast to watch, the same can not be said about the scenes without them (which are thankfully very few). The other two characters range from stiff (John Krasinski) to absolutely annoying (Noah Jupe). The part of the film that just focuses on them is boring and feels incredibly forced. Thankfully because of how short the film is it doesn't last all that long minimzing the damage it does to the film.
This film is an entertaining and compact (if a bit flawed) horror thrill ride that is well worth taking. The creature design and world are interesting (even if the logic of the world isn't bulletproof), that characters are fun to watch, and there are some genuinely tense and unique sequences in the film. Even if I found some of the storytelling clunky (especially the way the monsters are handled toward the end) and some of the scares to be hollow and unimaginative, the film, on the whole, is good and worth seeing. [B-]
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