Clever, powerful and a fun thrill ride, A QUIET PLACE delivers unexpected emotions while ratcheting up the tension for 90 solid minutes.
The film establishes the plot perfectly in a chilling prologue. It's a post-apocalyptic world in which surviving humans are few. Nasty creatures the size of a bear but more closely resembling a mashup of the Predator and a crustacean are 100% blind but have incredibly good hearing.
The slightest noise brings them quickly to you with a taste for humans. These are NOT George Romero's lumbering zombies. They're as fast as a Cheetah with a lot more teeth.
John Krasinski (The Office, 13 Hours) is Lee Abbott, married to Evelyn (real life wife Emily Blunt from "Edge of Tomorrow") and trying to survive with their three children.
Noah Jupe (Wonder) is terrified son Marcus, who has watched tragedy hit the family and lives in fear of it repeating.
Deaf actress Millicent Simmonds (Wonderstruck) brilliantly plays daughter Regan. Independent, carrying enormous guilt and struggling with their new life, Regan becomes a core figure in their fight for survival.
Krasinski also directed and does a hell of a job, slowly twisting up the suspense throughout. The last half hour provides non-stop terror as Evelyn goes into labor, the parents find themselves separated from their children and a band of nasty creatures comes-a-calling.
I admit before seeing the film that I didn't think the concept was sustainable for a feature length film. Why the hell would I want to watch a silent horror movie?
I was wrong.
Thanks to clever story telling, VERY good acting, terrific photography by Charlotte Bruus Christensen (Far From The Maddening Crowd) and a killer, creepy music score by Marco Beltrami (World War Z, Logan) the film is anything but silent.
But when it happens, the silence IS very scary.
I really enjoyed this movie. It's well crafted, filled with people you'll care about and a tale well told.
That "nail on the stairs" sequence feels almost Hitchcockian in its execution. The way the family uses those red lights is inspired and visually arresting. Krasinksi's performance will gut you.
A QUIET PLACE gets some very loud cheers from this corner of the dark basement and gets an A.
(now be very....very....quiet......)