Fans of this VW advert will be pleased to hear it’s been made into a feature film.
A Quiet Place is set in a dystopian future where the world is overrun with blind monsters that hunt and kill anything that makes a noise, though considering all the loud people have been eaten it sounds more utopian to me.
While this scenario would spell doom for your average popcorn-munching, packet-rustling cinemagoer, Evelyn and Lee (real-life couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, who also directs) have a secret weapon: the ability to communicate in sign language, thanks to their deaf daughter (Millicent Simmonds, who’s deaf in real life). Trouble is Evelyn becomes pregnant, and we all know how quiet babies are because we’ve all been sat near one on a plane. Presumably this pregnancy wasn’t planned, so I guess the monsters must have also eaten all the condoms.
The high-concept is nicely if inconsistently used (why aren’t more monsters attracted when one starts banging loudly on a car?) but Krasinski’s directing lacks the subtleties of last year’s survival horror It Comes At Night. Marco Beltrami’s score is laid on thick and the jump scares go bang just like real ones don’t, making me wish that A Quiet Place was all a bit quieter. It would be much more effective if we were hearing what the characters were hearing.
What the picture lacks in scares and intensity it makes up for with an almost Spielbergian quality. You know the scene in every Spielberg movie where someone (usually a child or Tom Cruise) has to hide from some kind of probing alien technology before it gets distracted and leaves? Well A Quiet Place is comprised entirely of that scene, one after the next. And considering that’s probably the best sequence in Minority Report and War of the Worlds, this is to the film’s benefit. The family unit also feels quite Spielbergian, with credit going to the child actors Simmonds and Noah Jupe.
Ultimately this is a solid genre exercise that may not be worth shouting about, but due to Ready Player One it has the unexpected privilege of being the best Spielberg flick of the week.