Naysayers for PG-13 horror need to take a chance on A Quiet Place from Platinum Dunes and Director John Krasinski. The film’s intelligent script follows a family surrounded by unspeakable horrors that hunt them and kill them by sound alone. Krasinski is joined by Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe as the Abbott family who finds themselves trapped in this twist on the cabin in the woods trope. The direction is solid, confident, and spot on. The acting is far above average with Blunt and Simmonds providing award-worthy performances. A Quiet Place is a fantastic genre offering that will be difficult to knock off any top 10 best horror films of 2018 lists come December.
While the film’s story is, at its core, very simple and direct, the nuances of the characters and the events are extraordinary, elevating the emotional impact. The fact that the Abbotts communicate primarily by sign language instead of speaking allows for the film to embrace a show-don’t-tell approach to the world they live in and the events they encounter. It also allows the dialog, when it does occur, to hold far more weight and importance. It also provides a realistic and wholly believable reasoning to discovering the solution to the family’s survival during the climax. All in all, A Quiet Place is a subdued but roaring success.
A Quiet Place (4.5 / 5)
And, A Quiet Place is deliciously full of thrills, chills, and scares galore. What follows is a list of the top 10 most frightening moments in the film. SPOILERS AHEAD, please see the film before proceeding!
10 – The Man in the Woods
On their way back from their trip to the river, Lee Abbott and his son, Marcus, encounter a man in the woods who has just lost his wife – who lies in a bloody mess at his feet. As they stare, he can no longer hold back his grief and … screams, attracting the monsters. Lee and Marcus hide nearby. The horrific nature of the shot is mostly off screen with the camera focusing primarily on Marcus his face wracked with terror.
9 – Regan Faces the Monster in the Corn Rows
Searching for her brother lost in the cornfields, Regan encounters one of the monsters. Being deft, she does not hear it approach; however, the malfunctioning earpiece she is wearing is tuned to a frequency that affects the creature in a disturbing manner allowing her to escape a horrific fate.
8 – Regan and Marcus Hide in a Truck
Fleeing from a creature, Marcus and Regan hide in a truck as their father, Lee, lies helpless nearby. The attack is vicious and violent with little hope of escape. The combination of kids in danger and some audio tricks, the scene is elevated above a standard monster encounter.
7 – Lee Abbott Screams to Save His Children
Directly tied to the truck scene, Lee recovers to find his kids in mortal danger. He is left with only one choice to save his children, make a noise bigger than theirs. So, following the example of the man in the woods, he screams but not before signing to his children an expression of his love. The scene is emotional and horrific but true to character, father and children alike.
6 – Trapped in the Corn Silo
Standing atop the corn silo looking for signs of help, Marcus and Regan fall through the roof into the corn below. At first, it seems the corn is going to swallow them whole before the two are able to miraculously save each other. But the terror is not over, one of the monsters dives in. The scene plays out much like the T-Rex scene in Jurassic Park until the creature is driven away.
5 – Toy Rockets and Scary Monsters
The opening scene quickly sets the tone and pace of the film as the Abbotts quietly travel from town back to their home. Their youngest son, Beau, has a toy rocket which he turns on, it’s sirens blaring loudly. In horror, Lee turns and darts from the front of the line back to save his son. However, before he can reach him, Beau is viciously attacked and carried away by one of the monsters. No one is safe. The horror is real.
4 – Drowning in a Quiet Place
After Evelyn gives birth to her newborn boy, she hides in a makeshift soundproof room below the barn. As a result of the attack above, water begins to pour into their chambers. Along with the water, slips in one of the monsters. Evenlyn, rescuing her son, hides behind the falling streams of water desperate that the noise will mask them from the creature staring blindly at them.
3 – Fear, Feet, and Nails
The basement in the Abbott house plays a huge part in A Quiet Place. One terrifying moment is when Evelyn, alone in the house, steps on a nail on the stairs dropping pictures she is carrying creating a great deal of noise to attract the monsters. To make matters worse, her water has just broken and the labor pains frequently incapacitate her. She hides in pain and terror as one of the monster descends. Her escape is ingenious but the chase is on.
2 – A Fight to the Death
For the finale, it’s back into the basement we go with a monster not far behind. Armed only with a shotgun, Evelyn struggles to find a way to save her family. With the monster, if full horror-movie view, the Abbotts must outsmart the beast by discovering it “weakness.” The film’s “Chekhov’s Gun” has already been revealed and creatively uses that to build tension as the daughter begins to realize what the audience already knows turning what could be a cinematic failure into a genre success.
1 – Evelyn In Labor
Caught alone in the Abbott home, in full-on labor, ready to give birth, Evelyn must escape a snarling beast following close behind. The film turns what is essentially a simple “hide to survive” scene in white-knuckled pure horror. Evelyn must fight the urge to scream in terror as well as from pain. Not only must she survive, but she must save the life of her as-of-yet unborn child. One yelp, one gasp, any noise at all and she is done for. The scene is further elevated by Emily Blunt’s performances, her face wincing in pain, her eyes full of terror, her body trembling in fear leaves the audience holding their breath, knuckles whitened, mouths open.
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