Review: A Quiet Place

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

PLOT: A family tries to survive in a world where humans are hunted by deadly creatures that stalk their prey based on sound.

REVIEW: You’ve really got to hand it to John Krasinski. Ever since “The Office”, he’s been pushing himself in a way that’s allowed him to avoid the typecasting that could have easily pigeonholed him. While that show was still on the air, he directed an indie (BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS MEN), and co-wrote PROMISED LAND, in which he took an against-type part. After the show ended he executive produced MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, wrote, directed, and starred in THE HOLLARS, and most recently, transformed himself into a six-pack sporting action hero for 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI, and looks to do the same for his Amazon show, “Jack Ryan”.

Even still, nothing in his other work would have made me think Krasinski had a flair for genre, but A QUIET PLACE is a stunning piece of elevated horror, the second such film from Paramount this year following ANNIHILATION. Commercial in a way that movie wasn’t, A QUIET PLACE isn’t wholly original, in that it’s essentially an alien invasion flick, but the hook is sensational. The creatures (which look like The Predator crossed with xenomorphs) are blind, and hunt by sound. In this world, if you make a sound, you die. Anything above a whisper will get you killed, and even if you’re armed, you have no chance against the creatures, because they’re heavily armoured and seemingly invulnerable.

The film kicks off a few months after the invasion, by which time seemingly huge chunks of the world’s population has been killed off, with the movie’s family, The Abbott’s, surviving due to two advantages. Lee (John Krasinski), the patriarch, is a survivalist, so he has a certain degree of knowledge others don’t, while the family daughter, Regan (Millicent Simmonds) was born deaf, so they all know sign language and don’t need to talk to communicate.

A QUIET PLACE has almost no dialogue, with only the occasional whisper being heard, leaving the actors to all communicate via pantomime. Krasinski and real-life wife Emily Blunt are exceptionally good at this, and the fact that such top-shelf actors play the leads gives this credibility it wouldn’t have had otherwise. Krasinski is far removed from Jim as the tough, survivalist dad, while Blunt conveys a lot of warmth as his loving, very pregnant wife. The kids are just as good, with Noah Jupe (SUBURBICON) as the scarred son, while Simmonds, who’s hearing-impaired in real life, is incredible as the tough daughter, whose handicap arguably has helped the family survive longer than they would have otherwise.

A word of warning – don’t go see A QUIET PLACE with your chatty friend. It’s a quiet movie by design, and it needs to be watched that way in order to appreciate the terrific sound design, which is nicely complemented by a good score by Marco Beltrami. With this his third film as a director, Krasinski’s also clearly learned a lot about editing, with it running just under ninety minutes, leaving no fat on the bone whatsoever. The tension never lets up.

In the end, Krasinski really has made a great little sci-fi/horror flick, which delivers major thrills and should rack-up big bucks at the box office. The premiere crowd I saw this with were on the edge of their seats throughout. I can usually smell a hit, and this one has the potential to break out in a big way and significantly change Krasinski’s career.


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About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.