A Quiet Place - Review
A Quiet Place will leave you in shock; not only is it a tense thriller, but it is also emotional, creative, and aware of its limits. John Krasinski's latest is a quality one.
A Quiet Place breaks a cardinal rule of thrillers: Never show the monster/killer too early. Instead, we see it in the first scene, in an incredibly effective tone-setter that sets up the film perfectly. This is about a family torn apart by sound-sensitive monsters, and we see it through an emotional lens.
The family of A Quiet Place is nameless, but full of personal strife. The daughter character, played by the excellent Millicent Simmonds, is in the middle of a conflict with her father when the film begins, and by the end, is forced to reckon with it. Her arc is the most interesting, and is given an ample amount of time to develop over the 90 minute runtime. The film bounces between her character and the rest of the family very well, keeping the pace at breakneck speed.
If there is an issue with A Quiet Place, it lies in the way it tells its story. We see very little of the family's life before the monsters besiege their farm, robbing the story of a personality. While actors John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe all do a fine job, there is a lack of definition, creating the feeling that this could be any random family played by any actors. The film does provide ample emotional attachment to the characters through several tense scenes, but the lack of character-specific knowledge hurts.
The monster design in A Quiet Place is yet another place where this film succeeds, as we see them in dark spaces, the wide open forest, and tall corn fields. The monsters actually become more terrifying the more we see them, giving a very Signs-like feel to the story. By the final scene, we see the creatures in all their glory, and it is earned.
A Quiet Place is a solid, incredibly tense thriller that makes family its priority. It does a remarkable job juggling several characters, and incorporates a concept that goes far beyond a gimmick. While the lack of memorable characters leaves the film lacking in personality, it makes up for it with an engaging story and some heartbreaking moments.