In the past few years, a very select few of outlandish horror films manage to amaze audiences as true representations of the horror genre. It is with great pleasure to say that “A Quiet Place” is without a doubt one of these films and will surely be held as one of the most influential and classic horror films of this decade. This film is not only genius in concept and execution, but its themes and unique look at a dire situation are nearly flawless.
Even unlikely director John Krasinski, known mainly from his role as Jim Halpert from NBC’s “The Office,” has admitted his shock to audiences’ responses in multiple interviews. However, the extremely unusual high score on Rotten Tomatoes is very much deserved because of Krasinski’s expert eye when it comes to world building and directing. What the film lacks in story, it makes up with its compelling plot that begs to be made into a franchise to rival the likes of survival-powerhouse “The Walking Dead.”
Taking place in the year 2020 on an almost post-apocalyptic Earth, “A Quiet Place,” follows a family’s survival under the gaze of blind yet monstrous, carnivorous hunters. As the title suggests, these monsters can only track beings that make noises. Krasinski and his family have lived a mute existence for over 400 days. The film specifically focuses on the family surviving through the night once Emily Blunt’s character goes into labor, a brilliant concept in a world where even whispers can lead to one’s death.
Within the first ten minutes, I was sure this film would become one of the best horror movies to be produced simply because of its subject matter. Rather than attempting to scare audiences with an overabundance of tasteless gore that has little to do with the actual plot, it is immediately apparent that every piece of this world was crafted with close attention by Krasinski. For instance, Krasinski’s family never wears shoes because socks obviously will make too much noise. Each member of his family exclusively uses sign language to communicate. Doors are never closed, and each floorboard is painted with a path that will not creak.
Krasinski also does audiences a favor by not attempting to hide the monsters until the very end of film like most low-budget horror movies. Within the first few minutes of this strange world being established, Krasinski and co. come face-to-face with a sightless creature, allowing this concept of an empty, mute world to terrify viewers rather than the looming threat.
Krasinski was able to pull off such an astounding feat that is this film because of his clear extensive research in the survival genre. As stated in interviews, he did not just create another horror flick. Instead, Krasinski chose to focus on a deep, enriching story about a family’s survival and the normalcy in their lives within this abnormal world, effectively creating a plot that can be easily revisited in sequels or spin-off novels.
Like Krasinski said, Blunt wants her children to experience a bit of normal life despite the constant fear of being hunted over their heads. The movie begins with the youngest son begging Krasinski for a toy rocket ship, and Krasinski obviously says no because of the amount of noise it makes. That does not stop the daughter from rebelling and nabbing the toy for her brother.
There are even several moments that seem impossibly trivial as Krasinski argues with his children through sign language about the incredible importance of his son learning to hunt and his daughter recognizing when to back down from a fight. As trivial as this may be, these moments of family fallout are essential to the story that Krasinski wants to tell. Much like “The Walking Dead,” which focuses on the human bonds of a zombie apocalypse, “A Quiet Place” is meant to depict how a family survives when forced to protect one another from far deadlier adversaries.
What is more surprising is the need for a sequel or some sort of spin-off media to this narrative. The storyline behind this film was a bit weak as it felt more like an hour-and-a-half episode rather than a self-contained film. Though, with its intricate plot and detailed, sprawling world, Krasinski could easily take the helm of a Netflix miniseries or even sequel films that detail the survival of several other groups of families.
With very few flaws, “A Quiet Place” presents the perfect example of a fantastic horror film because of its minimal effort in shocking audiences. Krasinski seems to be following the trend of unlikely comedians making critically acclaimed horror films, and it’ll be interesting to see what this man of many talents will do next.
“A Quiet Place” is out now in theaters.