Emily Blunt as Evelyn Abbott and John Krasinski as Lee Abbott star in A Quiet Place, from Paramount Pictures. (Jonny Cournoyer photography)

Reel Reviews: The sound of silence

We say, “Ignore the concept and allow yourself to be scared.”

  • Apr. 15, 2018 9:00 p.m.

John and Evelyn Abbot (John Krasinski and Emily Blunt) have three kids and another one on the way. It has been just over a year since the alien invaders landed on planet Earth and the Abbots, like the other surviving families in the area, have created a life lived in silence, as the aliens hunt their prey by listening. Survivors have had to learn to live a quiet life, in A Quiet Place.

We say, “Ignore the concept and allow yourself to be scared.”

TAYLOR: There’s a lot wrong with A Quiet Place, but all its problems come from the flawed logic of the story’s concept. The characters have done everything they can to create a quiet life, including soundproofing their homes and rooms, spreading ash on the trails they use to walk around their farm, etc. However, no amount of careful planning and deliberate movements are going to stop this poor family from sneezing, or snoring or stepping on a twig. They also don’t do what I would do, which is move my house next to a raging river, to cover over the sounds I create. Having said that, if you allow yourself to forgive this flaw, Blunt and Krasinski, real-life husband and wife, give powerhouse performances as parents just trying to keep their family alive. A Quiet Place is genuinely scary.

HOWE: I think being real life husband and wife helped with both of their performances, but it wasn’t just them that gave real strength to their roles but in fact the children. To me they stole the show—they showed real emotion when scared, running from the aliens or just sat peeking into the darkness wondering where and when the next alien attack would come from.

TAYLOR: There are some cheap, loud, startling scares in the film, but there is also fear to be found in the silence of waiting. A lot of horror films use quiet moments in the dark, where a would-be victim peers into the void looking for something that may or may not be there. An audiences’ fear is usually directly proportional to how much they like or care for the character in jeopardy. Krasinski and Blunt are effective because they seem very real. Despite the flawed logic of the alien invasion itself, which is never explained and the lack of dialogue, A Quiet Place is very well written. Every character is complex and has a complete story arc.

Allow yourself to become immersed in this tale without thinking too much about it, you will be entertained in return.

HOWE: I didn’t mind the concept or the lack of dialogue in this movie, in fact I think the lack of conversation actually enhanced the film, made it a little scarier. It is not a typical blast em up type of flick, not a Starship Troopers or War of the Worlds, this is a slow burn type that cranks up the heat just a little, building the tension slowly till the climax at the end. I agree that there are some flaws, but if you let them slide like I did you will enjoy A Quiet Place a lot more.

Taylor gives A Quiet Place 4.5 hearing aids out of 5.

Howe gives it 4 fireworks out of 5.

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