I don’t normally watch thrillers that border on horror but ‘A Quiet Place’ intrigued me and I’m glad I saw it.
Plot: the world has been invaded by aliens who are sensitive to sound. Very sensitive. The main characters (unnamed) are a small family who have to rely on each other more and more each day in this horrible new world. In the film’s prologue, you see their youngest son killed when he (very stupidly) turns on a toy plane. About a year later, the mom is pregnant, the dad is trying to protect everyone, the son suffers from PTSD, and the daughter is guilty (because she gave her brother the toy plane) and angry at herself and everyone around her.
(I’m not going to spoil the rest of the story because it’s best to watch without knowing Things.)
For me, stories rise and fall on the quality of their characters and ‘A Quiet Place’s characters were beautiful. Emily Blunt and John Krasinski (who play Mom and Dad) are married in real life and you can definitely sense that. There’s such a strong, clear bond between them. They love each other and their kids deeply. One of my favorite scenes in the film is when they share a pair of ear buds and dance together to the music from an iPod (which is an almost frightening explosion of sound at first).
Their oldest child, a deaf teenage girl (played by a talented deaf actress) is annoying. I mean, I get that she’s guilty and lashing out at those closest to her, but can’t you see your dad loves you? The second child, a boy who’s probably eleven or twelve, was very sweet. I liked him. He reminded me a bit of the kid in ‘Jurassic Park’. And the scene where he and his sister are in the truck, cowering from the alien? Soooo ‘Jurassic Park’ inspired.
YMMV when it comes to how scared you are while watching ‘A Quiet Place’. For me, I don’t believe I was ever scared so much as disturbed in a few spots. In some scenes, it’s pretty obvious that the characters will be okay so that didn’t worry me. There’s one part where a raccoon gets, um, splatted by one of the aliens and that’s pretty gross. A few jump scares, none of which made me jump. That bit with the old man was gruesome (no spoilers, just…*shudder*). And there was one scene where I did look away – not because of anything scary, but because a character steps on a nail and it goes right into their foot and I didn’t want to see that happen. (Also, there was a bit of burlap caught on the nail and now it’s in their foot and they’ll probably get infected. Groan.)
However, one thing I definitely didn’t expect from ‘A Quiet Place’ was how tear-jerking A Certain Part would be. I’m actually getting a lump in my throat just thinking about because it involves self-sacrifice and a character death (duh) and it’s just…yeah. It’s tough. You’ll hate it and love it at the same time.
And can I get a round of applause for that ending? It was a stellar, amazing, awe-inspiring, perfect, incredible ending. (I could continue to heap on the adjectives.) It’s given the ending to ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ a serious run for its money for “Eva’s favorite movie ending of all time”.
Overall, ‘A Quiet Place’ was one of those movies that went above and beyond my expectations. Recommended to just about anyone (no swearing or sexual content, for the win!) provided you’re thirteen or over.
P.S. Just wanted to add that, while I thought much of the soundtrack was unnecessary (and unwanted), there was this one jarring, off-key piano theme that was used a couple times that I thought was GREAT.
P.P.S. Don’t ever make a sequel, Hollywood. Just…don’t.