Follow Us on Twitter

A Quiet Place - DVD Review

A Quiet Place

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

IN cinema form, John Krasinski’s directorial debut A Quiet Place offered the near-perfect horror experience for the way in which it invited audiences to sit in a dark room and remain as quiet as possible for the duration of its tense 87-minute running time.

Yet it’s a credit to the film as a whole that the central sound gimmick does not undermine the experience of watching it on smaller screens [as this does remain]. Rather, it’s still a highly effective and highly involving horror film that works on a number of levels.

For sure, the fear factor is still there. A Quiet Place is genuinely tense. A darkened living room, and the confines of a sofa, offer little in the way of respite. But Krasinski – who co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Beck and Bryan Woods – has also taken care to inject a humanity into the story that is so often missing from a lot of genre pieces.

Put simply, you care. And that’s because aside from being a horror film, A Quiet Place also exists as an examination of grief, guilt and parental struggle; of trying to do right by your children at all times, no matter how big or small the odds. It pulls you in and refuses to let go on that front.

The story itself finds Krasinski and real-life wife Emily Blunt playing Lee and Evelyn, the father and mother of a family of five trying to live their lives in silence after mysterious creatures descend upon Earth and hunt by sound. If they hear you, they hunt you.

An opening act sets the scene brilliantly, within the confines of a supermarket, as the family forage for food and medicine to take back to their base camp on a farm. But then tragedy strikes. One of their member is killed.

The storyline then jumps forward as the family continue to co-exist with the monsters. But Evelyn is now pregnant, Lee continues to struggle with the dual responsibilities of both protecting his brood and empowering his children to take over should he not survive.

His eldest daughter, Regan (Millicent Simmonds), wants more responsibility while wrestling with her own guilt about the death of her brother, while Marcus (Noah Jupe) struggles with notions of having to grow up and be brave. Needless to say, it’s only a matter of time before the family’s quiet existence is threatened by events that spiral beyond their control.

Given that A Quiet Place is first, and foremost, a horror movie, it’s to be expected that things become increasingly tense and violent the longer the action lasts. Family members get split up, Evelyn inevitably goes into labour and the beasts appear at regular intervals to raise the stakes.

And while not everything concerning the monsters’ behaviour makes complete sense (some of their deployment seems more convenience based than the self-imposed rules of the screenplay suggest), they do terrify and make you jump in all the right places. In some regards, Krasinski’s film is favourably comparable to the likes of Ridley Scott’s original Alien or the very best elements of shows like The Walking Dead.

It’s very much an old fashioned approach to scaring audiences, and all the more effective for it. You may well lose count of the amount of times you find yourself holding your breath, desperately trying not to make your own sound.

But the film wouldn’t stay with you half as much as it does without the emotional element. And by giving his cast the chance to explore those aforementioned notions of grief, guilt and parenting, Krasinski draws terrific performances that really make you care about whether they live or die.

Without exception, everyone excels… often relying on emoting than speaking. The script is sparse, to say the least. But such is the quality of the performances, you’ll feel every disappointment, rejoice in every victory and maybe even shed a tear when things go really, really bad.

A Quiet Place is an exceptional horror film. And it’s one that will undoubtedly be held up as a classic of its era.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 87mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: August 13, 2018