Warning: This post contains major spoilers for the movie A Quiet Place!
The premise: a family, with the mother heavily pregnant, is trying to survive creatures who possess no sight but excellent hearing. These were the only clues to be deduced from the few-to-be-had trailers. Those clues, however, were enough to draw me in from the very first time I heard about it. When I saw the movie, it definitely lived up to the expectations set by the mysterious trailers
In the opening five minutes we witness the youngest child of the Abbott family get snatched up by one of the creatures after playing with a loud toy. It made the Abbotts’ situation seem real, and it showed that the directors weren’t afraid of picking off the family. Closer to the end of the film, we see the father, Lee, sacrifice himself for his children by shouting to draw a creature away from them. It wasn’t exactly a tear-jerker moment, but had just enough emotion to make you feel sorry for the children for their loss.
If you’re a body count movie lover, where the monsters rack up kills almost faster than the casting agency can come up with characters, A Quiet Place is not for you. There are only four kills the audience has the pleasure of witnessing, including a poor raccoon who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but not including the one creature we get to see blasted with a shotgun.
I have to hand it to John Krasinski for directing one of my new favorite thrillers. He did a pretty good job making sure there was a balance between action and calm, and the additional factor of having Evelyn (played by the brilliant Emily Blunt) be pregnant and having the child during a stressful moment as an added source of anxiety (and an added source of noise, therefore more creature screen time) was inspired. However, there was a distinct Jaws/Jurassic Park feel to every scene where the creatures were hunting. It created a sense of “haven’t I seen this before?” while Evelyn was in the basement and the creature slipped under the water. I could almost hear the Jaws theme music as it rose up again right in front of her.
There were also some plot points that left me wondering as the credits rolled. Where did these creatures come from? Are they aliens? From a secret laboratory, cooked up by military scientists trying to invent a new weapon? How many are there? Was this actually a Cloverfield movie in disguise, trying to make up for the awful God Particle film dropped onto Netflix? Who knows. The point of the movie wasn’t about backstory, it was about survival and family, and it does a good job of balancing the two. In between, you know, the creatures ripping people to pieces.