FILM: A Quiet Place

 “Welcome to Katz Reviews. This is Ed Katz of Katnip Marketing- marketing consultant by day; theater and film critic by night- bringing my weekly review segment, Katz Reviews, here for you on WICC 600.

A change in schedule: My review of ‘Will Rogers Follies’ at Goodspeed will be next Tuesday.

I best remember John Krasinski as the likable employee of fictional company Dunder Mifflin on the TV comedy, ‘The Office.’ I had no idea he studied playwriting at Brown University and graduated with honors. He also studied here in Connecticut at the Eugene O’Neill National Theatre Institute in Waterford.

 John Krasinski; Business Insider

Now, knowing that, it isn’t a stretch to see he not only stars in the new hit film, ‘A Quiet Place’- but he co-wrote it, as well. On top of that, he also directed it! I’ve seen many media outlets label this a horror film. I would call it a suspenseful sci-fi survival film but I admit it has elements common to horror films in it so, if those can be too intense for you, this might not be your best movie choice.

In ‘A Quiet Place’ John Krasinski’s real-life wife, Emily Blunt, plays his on-screen wife, Evelyn, to his character of Lee.

 Image: Forbes

The film wastes no time putting you right into the action as a simple title tells you something has happened- but never tells you what- and immediately lets you know the characters (Lee, Evelyn and their kids) need to be quiet. And their survival hinges on that. Through old newspaper headlines we learn there are creatures- possibly all over the world – who move incredibly quickly, are ferocious and have super hearing. But they are blind, and they only attack when a human- or an animal- makes a loud noise giving away its position.

And that is the set-up to the plot and almost all the characters. We see Lee and Evelyn have been adapting to whatever happened to create this situation and do their best to keep their kids safe, but- especially under these circumstances- nobody is perfect.

 

 Emily Blunt, John Krasinski Image: The Hollywood Reporter

Because of the need to be quiet to survive, there is extremely little dialogue and subtitles are used when the family speaks sign language. The suspense is ongoing as even a dropped dish can be a disaster. So it gets extremely intense at times, particularly when the family is separated for a while and multiple characters are in danger all at the same time.

For better and worse, Evelyn and Lee have thought through many ways to protect themselves, like cameras surrounding the farm they are living on- and a “for emergencies only” noisy distraction plan- but (proving they are human) there are also other things they could have done that they didn’t think of.

For example, Lee takes his son to a waterfall so they can have a brief conversation without fear of being heard, as the waterfall is loud enough to mask the noise of their conversation- and even their yelling. But, as my son pointed out, why didn’t they just move to a house by the waterfall- to help keep them safe when they make an inevitable, inadvertent loud noise?

 Emily Blunt & Creature. Image: GQ

A key plot point hinges on Evelyn becoming pregnant- and their unspoken decision to have the baby (under these impossible circumstances) and the ways she and Lee work to set up a soundproof room for when the baby is born. Though their design is very clever, nothing goes according to plan, of course, and that creates yet another intense scene.

Other questions that need answers don’t have them- like what happened to the room that got flooded? Or an exposed nail on the step that badly injures one of the characters? These unanswered questions are annoying but mainly because the film is so suspenseful and thought-provoking otherwise. As my son said as we walked out of the theater, “I will never again take for granted the ability to just be able to talk.”

‘A Quiet Place’ is a worthwhile suspenseful film that succeeds on many levels. Though it has scenes of violence, it isn’t gratuitous at all and I give it 4 stars out of 5. Catch my reviews right here this time each week and on my Facebook page and website, Katz Reviews dot com,  where you will find all my WICC 600 reviews.

This is Ed Katz talking movies for WICC 600!”

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