A Quiet Place, B+
Rated PG-13, 90 minutes
Who knew the quiet could be so terrifying? That's the premise of the chilling, smart new horror film "A Quiet Place" in which creatures attack and kill solely based on sound. Destined to be a sleeper hit and making some noise at the box office, it's this year's "Get Out" not to mention one of the scariest, most original films in recent memory.
Set in the dystopian near future in which earth has been ravaged by deadly creatures attracted to sound, a family of four (John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe) must navigate their lives in silence in the woods after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threaten their survival. If they hear you, they hunt you.
"A Quiet Place" is an entertaining, frightening and intense thriller that'll have you on the edge of your seats through most of the film. It's directed, co-written (along with Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, in their first big film) and stars Krasinski along with his wife Blunt ("The Girl on the Train"), along with excellent performances from the actors playing their children, deaf actress Simmonds ("Wonderstruck") and Jupe (who was the best thing in Clooney's dreadful "Suburbicon" last year).
This is Krasinski's third directorial effort and by far his best as both director and actor; from the breathless prologue, he shows both promise and skill in delivering a chillingly satisfying product that moves along nicely. Even better, "A Quiet Place" is not a stunt or an experimental film: there is sound and there is even some minimal dialogue, both underscoring its terrific premise of survival.
The creatures in "A Quiet Place," which resemble oversized spiders with big ears, are terrifying, though the script is wise enough to keep them as supporting players and keeping it from being a gore fest that so many in this genre tend to gravitate toward. It's the silence that is most unnerving, so much so that even when the smallest sound is made, it makes you cringe.
Marco Beltrami's ("The Hurt Locker") intense score helps add mood and texture, as does Charlotte Bruus Christensen's ("Molly's Game") handsome photography. Some elements are murky, and we're completely unsure where or how the creatures got there, though the script is content with spelling out the creatures strengths and weakness on a white board. As well, it comes as no surprise that Krasinski gives himself a hammy Robert Shaw-esque moment (ala "Jaws"), which you'll coming a few frames before it happens.
Even with some minor flaws and a very quick ending, "A Quiet Place" is a must-see, especially for horror film enthusiasts. It'll make you think about how loud you crunch that popcorn in the theater.