A Quiet Place anything but calming


The Mirror reporter

When I hear the name John Krasinski I think of a guy named Jim who works in an office, not as a director. Krasinski is best known for his role as Jim Halpert in the hit TV series, “The Office.” For those of you living under a rock and have never seen the show before, it’s a mockumentary on a group of typical office workers, where the workday consists of ego clashes, inappropriate behavior, and tedium.

Unlike “A Quiet Place,” The Office” is listened under the “comedy” category, so to see Krasinski in a serious and twisted film intrigued me. In all seriousness, this movie has been one of the darkest, twisted and family oriented movies I’ve ever seen. You may ask yourself, how is that even possible? To have a horror aspect mixed with a family aspect is very rare, but Krasinski pulls it off.

The modern golden age of horror films that we’ve been living in hasn’t been characterized by gore, spectacle, or gimmicks, but rather by intelligence. Genre fans know that the best horror movies have always featured a degree of overlooked intelligence, but modern movies like The Witch, Get Out and It Follows are so immediately clever that even horror skeptics have found it difficult to deny their creative brilliance. Yet, this era of savvy horror films has come with a small compromise. While movies like The Babadook are indisputably intelligent, they’re not always as viscerally scary as exceptional funhouse fare like The Conjuring. They’re incredible pieces of horror to analyze and praise on a technical level, but they sometimes sacrifice those jolts of absolute terror in favor of something more refined.

A Quiet Place tells the story of a family under siege. To survive, they have to follow one abiding law of safety: If anyone makes a sound — virtually any sound at all — then that person will be a goner. A skeletal creature with crab-like pincers and a head like a metallic melon will burst out of the woods and make mincemeat of the noise-maker. But if everyone simmers down and puts a cork in it, they’ll succeed in eluding the monsters in their midst. Life will go on (but quietly!).

Indeed, the movie’s calling card is its subtlety. Director Krasinski might be relatively inexperienced behind the camera, but you’d never know it based on how expertly he uses visual cues to tell his story. We don’t need anyone to tell us why the family is walking barefoot across freshly-laid sand paths or why the children are playing Monopoly with pieces of cloth and yarn to appreciate the various little things that our heroes have to do in order to survive. Every time that an item which might produce sound is introduced into a scene – such as an old wood floor or a cooking pan – we cringe in anticipation of the possibility that something is about to go horribly wrong.

A Quiet Place is a splendid genre exercise, offering a strong high-concept that blends post-apocalyptic survival horror with “things that go bump in the night” terror. It is lean, mean and brutally efficient, existing as both a superb human drama and relentless and physically exhausting nightmare.

It wasn’t hard for me to give an honest review on A Quiet Place, because it was simply one of the best horror films to come out in the past five years. I think what makes this film stand out from the others is its uniqueness. Every horror film in the last decade is all the same, there’s some type of paranormal force haunting a family and they all die. This movie is nowhere near that plot line. A Quiet Place includes scary monsters that look like the ones you thought hiding under your bed when you were five years old.

Although the film is only 94 minutes long, I experienced more emotions in that 94 minute time period than I did during the three-hour-long Titanic film. I give A Quiet Place a 10/10 and would recommend this movie to anyone seeking a thriller that’ll make their skin crawl.