It's Oh So Quiet [Review: A Quiet Place]

It is the post-apocalypse. We know this because the streets are deserted, the traffic lights have fallen over, and three children are raiding a supermarket and their parents are encouraging them. Encouraging them silently though - the family communicate in sign language and are taking care to stop any loud noises. Why? The family leave the shop without incident but an incident on their walk home explains everything you need to know about the threat facing humanity from the new rulers of Earth: vicious predatory creatures that are blind but respond in an instant to any loud sound.

A Quiet Place is not your typical Michael Bay film. It's quiet! And short! This is a low-key creature horror focusing almost entirely on the fate of one family in their farm hideaway. Their quest is not to unite the people of Earth and take back our world, although Lee (John Krasinski) is obsessed with finding the aliens' weakness, but simply to survive and protect each other. Keeping everyone silent is hard enough when your family includes an anxious child and a frustrated teenager, and you've all been through a traumatic tragedy already - and all of this pales into insignificance when Evelyn (Emily Blunt) discovers she is pregnant. The film remains true to this focus and even when the family come face to face with the creatures, it avoids any temptation to build into massive action-movie set pieces. There's almost no exposition - the scenario tells its' own story. And there isn't too much lens flare. The main use of overt CGI is the creatures themselves, and they are a particularly nasty bunch.

The concept of A Quiet Place, perhaps the cleverest horror movie concept I've come across for some time, reminded me of Day Of The Triffids, another post-apocalyptic scenario where humanity is robbed of its advantage over the creatures, in that case by being blinded. This is also the second mainstream movie in the past year to feature prominent use of sign language as a major plot point, following in the very quiet footsteps of The Shape Of Water.

No comments