Horror movies are really not my thing so I was surprised by the positive buzz I was hearing about “A Quiet Place” starring Emily Blunt and her real-life husband, John Krasinski as the parents of a family that had to live in complete silence or else the monsters would get them. So fascinated was I by what I was hearing that I found myself willingly sitting in the theater about to watch a horror movie. And it was wonderful.
Yes, it is a horror film and there were moments when I covered my eyes and peeked through my fingers but it wasn’t as jump-off-your-seat scary as I had anticipated so that was good. Seeing this family interact with each other was worth the scary bits.
John Krasinski, best known as Jim Halpert on The Office, wrote the script together with Bryan Woods and Scott Beck. He also directs the film and stars as Lee Abbot, the father of the family living on an upstate New York farm after some unnamed apocalyptic event decimated everything leaving only an handful of survivors as far as the audience can tell. The blind monsters hunt by sound, swiftly attacking at the slightest noise.
Lee and his wife, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) have an advantage over their neighbors. Their daughter, Regan (Millicent Simmonds) is deaf so the family is used to communicating via sign language. Simmonds is actually deaf and it’s wonderful to see her riveting performance as Regan, capturing the character’s thoughts and feelings with her facial expressions so we’re never in doubt of what she’s thinking.
What worries the audience right off the bat is that Evelyn is very pregnant. What’s going to happen when she gives birth and has a crying baby to contend with? The birth scene will surely go down in history as one of the freakiest, well-crafted horror film scenes ever.
The amazing thing about this film is the family dynamics. Regan and her younger brother, Marcus (Noah Jupe), play Monopoly with crocheted board pieces, Lee and Evelyn steal a moment when the kids are sleeping to have a slow dance, one ear bud for each of them. Lee, ever the practical engineer, teaches his son to catch fish in traps he’s made in the nearby river. Also, Lee is constantly piecing together bits and pieces of old technology, trying to make a working cochlear implant for Regan.
The stress of being silent all the time never lets up for the Abbots (who hold their index fingers to their lips an awful lot-shhhhh), especially when unexpected things happen like stepping on an exposed nail or missing one of the painted spots on the stairs which indicate the squeak-free zones, or falling into a grain silo, yet through it all the parents do whatever is necessary to protect their children, showing their love in so many little and big ways.