Before we jump into things, first things first. I'm not a fan of horror films. I've always avoided them like the plague. Every once in a while, I'll attend one -- occasionally under duress. For instance my writer-director friend Mick Garris is in several Science Fiction-Horror Hall of Fames and so it's obligatory that I have to watch his movie, unless he gives me special dispensation. And also, I once worked on a Stephen King film (actually, Mick has probably directed half a dozen Stephen King stories -- but it's rare. However, I was intrigued enough by A Quiet Place to go.
It's as terrific as you've probably heard. It's very scary, but just as watchable. If you don't know the premise, in short it's about a post-apocalyptic world that follows a family who has to do everything in silence because they're being stalked by monsters who react solely to sound. It's smart, thoughtful, well-developed characters and beautifully crafted. In fact, I'd call John Krasinki's direction masterful. (Stephen King sent out a tweet that agrees. ("A Quiet Place is an extraordinary piece of work. Terrific acting, but the main thing is the SILENCE, and how it makes the camera's eye open wide in a way few movies manage.) A very clever script by Bryan Woods & Scott Beck and Krasinski. There are a few plot issues I question -- hey, with a premise like this, there will of course be issues, but what's impressive is how few there are, either because of good plotting or impressive sleight-of-hand. And Emily Blunt is absolutely terrific, with subtle acting in the midst of the world crashing down on her. And two wonderful performances by two young kids. Noah Jupe and Millie Simmonds who plays a deaf girl (which allows the family to use sign language), and is, in fact, actually deaf in real life. While you'd think they have it easy not having dialogue to learn, it's asking a lot of kids to bring out their characters through physical action and facial emotion.
The film is a huge hit after only one week -- not just because it made so much and is #1 at the box office, but also it was so inexpensive to make. And I suspect it will do extremely well overseas, since the concept of translating dialogue is basically non-existent.
Here's the trailer. It does a very good job given the difficult subject. Just know that the impact of the film isn't the scary moments, but managing every quiet moment of daily life throughout the movie that builds to those.
As a bonus, here's a funny, charming interview that John Kraskinski and Emily Blunt did for the film on a BBC breakfast show.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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