Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
being a strong husband and wife team
keeping one’s children safe
What does it take to survive in a very dangerous world situation?
learning and using American sign language
|Featuring:||Emily Blunt … Evelyn
John Krasinski … Lee
Noah Jupe … Marcus Abbott
Millicent Simmonds … Regan Abbott
Leon Russom … Man in the woods
Cade Woodward … Beau Abbott
Doris McCarthy … Woman in the woods (uncredited)
|Director:||John Krasinski—“The Hollars”|
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Paramount Pictures Corporation
“If they hear you, they hunt you”
For unspecified reasons, in the year 2020 humanity has all been but wiped from existence on planet Earth. Little is known about the specific events that led to the near extinction of the human race, other than that a group of mysterious alien creatures who are blind, with a strong armor and very enhanced hearing, prowl the earth looking for opportunities to devour the remaining human survivors. In other words, survival lies in silence.
For the Abbott family, this has become the norm. They communicate via sign language. They cover their floor and pathways to town in sand to avoid their footsteps from being heard. Their board game pieces are padded. Not a whisper, not a sound, not a rustle can be made for fear of being hunted. For the most part, the family has done well at avoiding undue attention.
But time has a way of wearing down one’s patience. Let’s be honest, eventually you slip up on a routine or become tired of it—simple protocols and procedures tend to slip your mind, and for this family these slip ups start happening all too often. The question becomes… how much longer will their presence remain unnoticed?
“A Quiet Place” redefines terror on a brand new level. In the way Guillermo del Toro can scare many of his audiences with the occasional jump scare and uncertainty of the moment (e.g. “Mama,” “The Orphan,” etc.), John Krasinski raises this tactic to the next level and, honestly, with this film, puts del Toro out to pasture with this technique. As other critics have mentioned, it is the silence that is the most deafening. It is the silence that serves as that creepy soundtrack you hear in a movie warning you of the horror that is to come, and THAT is the beauty of this film… the silence. The silence that invites the audience to become part of the film, rather than a passive viewer. The silence that makes you question your sanity and what you are watching and where, as others have mentioned, you may begin to actually talk to the characters on screen. This what defines a TRUE horror film.
I also commend Krasinski for not only directing the film, but taking the lead role as well. In this particular film, having Krasinki as both the director and as the father, Lee, is a strength, especially in his interactions with his co-star (his real life wife) Emily Blunt, who plays his wife Evelyn. The performances from the entire family are incredible. An unspoken performance can be just as powerful and riveting as a spoken performance, and the chemistry between each of the characters is spot on. Each brings something of value to the story, and every character is allowed some moments of true development. The pacing is also fairly strong.
Violence is mainly limited various attacks by the creatures against several of the characters, but rarely is the violence graphic. A few characters are killed in the film (again, nothing graphic), including a child toward the beginning of the film (the child is snatched, as are other characters, but we never actually see the creature kill the child). We witness a half-eaten human body. Characters are chased and threatened by the alien creatures at various times. Evelyn, the mother, uses a shotgun at one point to shoot one to protect her family. Lee uses an ax to try and kill one.
Sex/Nudity/Sensual Content: None.
Other: We witness Evelyn’s water break during her pregnancy.
I think one of the most present themes in this film is the concept of true love. At one point in the film, Lee’s son, Marcus, while learning how to defend the family, asks Lee if he loves Lee’s daughter, Regan, as Lee tends to be a lot tougher on Regan than on Marcus. Lee is appalled that Marcus would ask such a question, to which Marcus responds in stating that he rarely hears (or sees him sign to her) that he loves her.
This moment made me wonder how often we, myself included, have questioned the love of those around us, even when we don’t hear their words. We want to hear those three simple words. We need those words. It’s true, we need to be told that we are loved, and it IS important to hear this. However, true love is more than just words. It is action. It is in the way we present ourselves to others and to God. True love requires words AND action in combination.
What is Christian LOVE? Answer
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. …” —1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. —1 John 3:18
The almighty God loves us through the sacrifice He made through his son Jesus Christ. It was the truest act of love a father could give to us, His children.
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” —1 John 4:9-11
Those who have read my reviews here on Christians Spotlight are aware that I am critical of horror films. As more and more are produced, so many have begun to copy each other to the point that nothing is truly unique anymore… that is until the film “A Quiet Place” was born. Yes, there are things to watch out for (some frightening moments, some violence, though most of it is off screen), but, overall, if you can overlook some of the objectionable content, you may actually find many redeeming morals in this film, apart from the main theme I mentioned, as well as a nail-biting, edge of your seat, 90 minute thriller. Fans of the psychological thriller genre who like scares will probably enjoy it as I did. But please don’t expose kids 12 and under to this film.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.