“Who are we if we can’t protect them? We have to protect them.”
A Quiet Place is a 2018 American horror film directed by John Krasinski, who stars alongside his real-life spouse Emily Blunt.
Over three months in 2020, most of Earth’s human population has been wiped out. The enemy is a species of sightless creatures with hypersensitive hearing and a seemingly impenetrable armored shell that attack anything that makes noise.
The Abbott family — husband Lee (John Krasinski), wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt), congenitally deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds), and sons Marcus (Noah Jupe) and Beau (Cade Woodward) — silently scavenge for supplies in a deserted town. Though skilled in American Sign Language, the family must nonetheless be vigilant lest they make accidental noise. Four-year-old Beau is drawn to a battery-operated space shuttle toy, but his father takes it away. Regan returns the toy to Beau, who unbeknownst to her has also taken the batteries his father removed. Beau activates the shuttle when the family is walking home through the woods, near a bridge. Its noise makes him an instant target for a nearby creature, and he is swiftly killed.
A year later, Regan still struggles with guilt over her brother’s death. Evelyn is in the final stages of pregnancy, and Lee is fruitlessly trying to make radio contact with the outside world. Lee attempts to upgrade Regan’s cochlear implant but the device fails to restore her hearing. Later, Lee takes Marcus to a nearby river to teach him to fish while Regan visits Beau’s grave. Lee explains to Marcus that they will always be safe from the creatures so long as louder sounds mask their audible movements.
Alone at the house, Evelyn goes into labour. While making her way to their specially modified soundproof basement, she steps on a large nail. In pain, she accidentally drops a glass picture frame and alerts a nearby creature. Evelyn flips a switch that changes the exterior house lights to red as a danger signal to the others. She struggles to remain silent during her contractions.
Arriving at the farm and seeing the lights, Lee instructs Marcus to set off fireworks as a diversion. He finds Evelyn hiding in the bathroom with their newborn son. The baby starts crying, attracting a creature. They narrowly avoid another attack on the way to the basement. Lee leaves to find the other children, after promising Evelyn he will protect them. Evelyn falls asleep but wakes to discover that the basement is flooded with water from a broken pipe and that a creature is stalking her.
Regan hurries back to the farm. She and Marcus take refuge atop a grain silo, lighting a fire to alert their father to their whereabouts. A hatch door gives way and Marcus falls into the silo. He sinks into the corn and nearly suffocates, but Regan jumps in and saves him. They avoid further danger by clinging to the fallen silo door. Then they survive a subsequent creature attack by hiding under it. Regan’s repaired cochlear implant reacts to the proximity of the creature by emitting a piercingly-loud high-frequency sound that drives the creature away. The children escape from the silo and reunite with Lee.
But the happy reunion must wait as the creature is still on the prowl, and many more lie in wait around the farm. Will the family survive? Can they find the monsters’ weakness and protect their newborn brother?
A Quiet Place is a perfect execution of a brilliant premise. A lesser movie would have descended into a bloodbath within minutes but this film holds it together and guides you through with intelligence and sound reason. Every question and “why don’t they just” was answered and covered, until you’re left watching as soundlessly as the characters themselves. With one finger on mute and one on the panic button, it is an hour and a half of constantly being on edge and yet revelling in this family’s will and perseverance to go on as normally as possible.
Every single actor performs amazingly, never faltering. Emily Blunt and John Krasinski naturally steal the show, especially Blunt with every inch of emotion written on her face as she fearlessly protects her newborn seconds after birth. I cannot fault A Quiet Place, not at all. Its stunning visuals, flawless acting, amazingly unique and simple plot (but at the same time surprisingly hopeful). If John Krasinski wants to make more feasts for my eyes and mind such as this, I would definitely not complain.
A Quiet Place