'A Quiet Place' Review

by

After watching the first cut of “A Quiet Place”, Emily Blunt leaned over to husband, co-star and director John Krasinski and told him he basically made a silent film. He thought that was cool, but Blunt suggested he add more sound so the film could really come alive.

But the final version of “A Quiet Place” may actually have too much sound, between the score, random noises and the utterances from the enemy creatures. There are only a handful of moments that are more-or-less totally silent, including the opening scene, which is probably the best in the entire movie.

The story is set in a near-future apocalyptic world. Alien creatures have invaded Earth and wiped-out most of the population. It’s sound that attracts these creatures to their prey. When they attack it’s not pretty. The few humans still alive survive by staying quiet.

For the Abbott family, that’s a challenge. We meet them about three months into this nightmare. Following a tragedy the timeline jumps a year. Evelyn (played by Blunt) is 9-months pregnant. Husband Lee (Krasinski) has been trying to figure out the motives of the creatures while keeping his wife and two children (Regan and Marcus) safe. They’ve moved into a large barn on their rural farm.

Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt

“A Quiet Place” does keep the suspense level high throughout. Credit to Krasinski for keeping us on edge to the final frame. But I couldn’t help but be bothered by one major story flaw: Why would this couple decide to have another child under these circumstances? It’s the key, yet unintelligible element that drives about 90% of “A Quiet Place”, putting each of the main characters in dire situations. It’s simply a plot device - but it doesn’t work.

The strenuous nature comes through loud and clear, especially in Blunt’s performance - and not just from the much-talked-about bathtub scene (though that certainly is a high point on the intensity meter).

But because of the constant amount of peril, I found it difficult to lose myself or appreciate “A Quiet Place” as much as I wanted to. The film is well shot, staged and edited, but it’s actually too extreme to take seriously.

Jackson Murphy: Emmy Award-winning Film Critic / Entertainment Reporter. Broadcast Film Critics Assoc. (@CriticsChoice), SAG-AFTRA (@SAGAwards)