April 10, 2018

Movie Review: A Quiet Place (2018)

It seems like every year has that one genre film that breaks out and gets on the hype train. In many cases, the hype is deserving. Even though hype has a way of leading to backlash, i have found the films to get the positive hype to be more than deserving. One thing that I am liking is that in recent year the films are retaining the quality and are skewing closer to mainstream success. I love the idea of more people discovering genre films and letting the sickness spread. In case you didn’t know, the movies I am referring to are It Follows, The Babadook, The Witch, Get Out, and now we have A Quiet Place. I make no secret that I love them all.

When I first saw the trailer for A Quiet Place, I was intrigued. It looked pretty good, I liked the idea of using sign language to communicate, but this is hardly the first movie to use sound as a key ingredient to the creatures MO, so it was clear that this was going to come down to execution. I will admit, the more times I saw the trailer, the more interested I was in seeing it. Then I started to hear about how good it was. Finally, I saw the film, and i concur with the prevailing opinion that it is great.

A Quiet Place is an absolutely mind blowing film. It is a film of such intensity that it does not feel like a PG-13 horror movie. I am as guilty as the next guy of talking negatively of non-R-rated horror. This is an example of where it is not always needed. It goes out of its way to hit the ground running and show you that it may not have the R, but it has high stakes. It wants you to know that no punches will be pulled.

This is the sort of movie that you are best served to know as little as possible going in. Then, when you watch the movie, it may appear simple and straight up, but it is deceptively so. There is actually a lot going on in this film, from learning and understanding the situation, to the distinct personalities of the characters, and just the collection of situations that all come to a head at the same time.

The setup is a simple one, there has been some manner of invasion by some particularly nasty monsters that hunt by sound and you have a family living in a secluded home trying to survive. Simple, really. Do not be fooled. This is a terrifying movie that knows just when to ratchet up the tension and when to give you a moment to breath. Then, they decide to mix things up and toss in a heavy dose of emotion. I do not remember the last time a movie had me as terrified and near tears emotionally the way this one did. Simply spectacular.

One of the biggest surprises, to me, was learning it was directed and co-written by Jim Halpert, err, John Kasinski. He has really shown some skill here. He brings a restrained directing style to the screen, never over doing it, letting the characters tell the story in their time. It is really a finely directed and beautifully shot film. The story originated with the other screenwriters, the team of Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, with this being their first feature film screenplay.

I know, it seems that I haven’t said much about what’s in the film. Trust me when I say it is much better to discover it for yourself. There is a lot going on from the creatures, to the family interactions, to all manner of details about who these people are, who they were, the way they live. It is much better to watch have these details revealed to you rather than being told beforehand. Where’s the fun in that?

A Quiet Place is a movie that will sit with you for a longtime. Well after the credit have rolled, you will find yourself thinking about the events and the details. It certainly has a lasting effect. It is a movie that tells a story that hits all the right marks and pushes the right buttons. It takes the familiar and puts a fresh spin on it. This is simply incredible film making.

Highly Recommended.

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