Remember Jim Halpert from the popular TV show The Office? You know, the character who kept looking directly at the camera and had the best relationship ever with office worker Pam Beasley?
Well the actor who played him is John Krasinski, and he just directed one of the smartest and meaningful horror movies of this century.
Krasinski both stars and directs in A Quiet Place which features a simple, yet genius concept: A family must survive in the woods without making any noise or terrifying monsters will come and kill them.
The result is a mostly silent movie. There is maybe a paragraph or so of overall spoken dialogue as the family often communicates to each other using sign language.
This provided me with one of the most unique film experiences I’ve ever had. The audience around me was completely silent (until the scary stuff happened). I could feel the entire room tensing up through the silent parts as they tried not to make any noise as if the monsters would come get them as well.
I even turned to my friend once during the movie and asked him to stop moving around his popcorn without even realizing what I had said.
Krasinski’s real-life wife Emily Blunt stars as his wife in the film while child actors Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, and Cade Woodward star as their children, and that’s basically the entire cast.
And that happens to be one of the film’s strongest attributes: A Quiet Place doesn’t waste time with useless characters or dumb plotlines. This movie is about just one family struggling to survive, and with a run time of just 90 minutes the movie thankfully doesn’t overstay its welcome.
The real star here is Emily Blunt. She completely dominates the movie with her acting ability solely by her facial expressions which is quite astonishing. She should honestly be up for award consideration by the end of the year.
However, the rest of the family gives amazing performances as well. Krasinski is an incredibly likable actor, and the child actors are remarkably talented for their ages. There wasn’t one second during this movie where I didn’t believe this was a real family.
And that’s what makes this movie so impactful. Because I cared for this family, I found myself stressing out over their well-being for 90 minutes. The opening 5 minutes of this film are unforgettable and horrific in the best way. From that moment on, this film will have you in the palm of its hand.
Honestly, A Quiet Place isn’t that scary overall. This isn’t like the Conjuring where the movie is just trying to scare you as much as possible. Instead, this film is one of the most suspenseful movies I have ever seen and that’s by design.
But what truly separates Krasinski’s modern masterpiece from other solid horror/suspense films that are powered by interesting premises is the film’s beating heart.
In a recent interview with Good Morning America Krasinski said that this film was essentially a love letter to his kids, and wow is it an incredibly touching letter.
The film deals with the toughest kind of family issues such as overcoming tragedy, acceptance, and forgiveness. Every parent should go see A Quiet Place just for the moral given in the film’s poignant climax alone. It never once felt preachy, but this movie has something very important to say.
Of course, this isn’t a perfect flick. There are a few fake-out jump scares spread throughout the runtime which was frustrating and unnecessary. Also, the very last shot of the film was just a bit too cheesy for my taste.
Other than those few nitpicks, that’s seriously all the issues I had.
Only time will tell if this film will be deemed as a horror classic, but I won’t be forgetting A Quiet Place anytime soon.
When I walked out of the theater I found myself thinking about the relationships in my own life while I was admittedly still not trying to make any noise out of fear. It turns out that the old saying is very true – nothing is louder, or more effective, than the sound of silence.
Overall rating: 9/10