Movie Review: ‘A Quiet Place’ A Big Hollywood Creature Feature Done Right!

Most of the big cinema Hollywood horror movies churned out these days are pretty damn forgettable but every so often we get a shiny gem thrown in our direction, this is most certainly the case with “A Quiet Place”. Yep, this one delivers on all levels, it’s an awesome tale of survival, a freaky creature feature and a totally tense original thriller all wrapped into one sweet package. John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe & Millicent Simmonds are a family trying to survive in total isolation in a house in countryside. In the surrounding forest the wrath of big blind alien creatures that hunt by sound look for their next meal. Get ready for the extremes between complete silence and jarring monster attacks to jolt you right the fuck out of your theater seat. Most of the movie is completely serene except for some of the score that creeps in and out from time to time and that’s what will keep you on your toes. I’d love to see a version of the movie that takes out the score completely as that’d certainly add even more tension to the sonic experiment at play here.

It’s really quite a great concept for a big cinema flick and if you’re chomping on popcorn and candy during the movie you’re likely to be heard by all around, the movie’s so quiet at times it can be a bit unsettling in a large theater full of people. This of course brings the audience directly into the tension and it’s done quite well cuz when the shit hits the fan from time to time it makes the tense action sequences that much more powerful. It also features the most awkward sequence of being stalked by a monster, one where Emily Blunt tries to escape being killed by one of these creatures while simultaneously going into labor! Damn-could it get an worse-yes it surely does..

The small cast also adds to the feeling of dread and isolation as danger lurks behind every noise presented on screen. The setting as well is lush and beautiful as most of it takes place on and around the old farm and a creepy ass cornfield, the perfect place for monsters to creep all about. Speaking of the monsters, we don’t really get any solid explanation about where they came from or why they’re here, maybe upon a second viewing it’d be easier to piece it all together from various newspaper clippings that are shown here and there. It’s been said this movie was also, in it’s early stages given the possibility to have a connection to Cloverfield, which also would have worked quite nicely.

Left to right: Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe in A QUIET PLACE, from Paramount Pictures.

The monsters are pretty cool as well, reminding me of some sort of symbiote relative of Spider-man’s nemesis Venom. They’re big, quick and deadly and appear to have no real weakness other than being completely blind. For the most part they’re pretty convincing too onscreen, though fully rendered by CGI, at times they do suffer from that cartoony “not really there with the actors in real life” effect which a few times sadly brought me out of the tension. For the life of me I just don’t understand why big Hollywood movies are so damn against the use of practical fx. A creature like this could have been 100% believable if they’d incorporated some sweet animatronics/practical fx work for closer shots of the monster and full CG rendering when it’s running and leaping about. For what we got though it was done decent enough. The beautiful setting and the great actors easily made up for some of the shoddy CGI and that’s my only real gripe with this one in the end.

So it’s quite refreshing to have a cool monster movie with some great actors and some real heart to it’s central story in the big theater. Krasinski’s directing was quite impressive too, the guy’s got the chops and I’m excited to see what he does next. If you’re at all interested in “A Quiet Place” most definitely see it in the theater, the sound and lack there of is a quite a treat to experience with those expensive theater sound systems. Between this and the excellent “Annihilation” it seems the horror/sci fi genre hitting the big theaters as of late shows some real promise!! 

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