So check this out. Last year, we had the likes of Jordan Peele of 'Key & Peele' directing a great horror comedy called 'Get Out', which won the Oscar for Best Screenplay, and was nominated for three more, including Best Picture, Best Director AND Best Actor. It was kind of a big deal. Even ignoring the Oscars altogether, it was one of the most talked about films of 2017. I have to say, I'm predicting a very similar fate for 'A Quiet Place', another rather smart horror coming from another comedic actor, John Krasinski. However this time around, it's more of a dramatic horror than a comedy horror.
It's the near future, and the world (I think?) has been taken over by strange creatures. And yeah, if you're one of those people who thrives on explanation, I'll say just don't bother 'cause they are NEVER explained. But they live, and they're nasty as hell. As for their look, they sort of remind me of a miniature Cloverfield Monster. They're closer to human-size, although bigger, and faster, much, much faster. They hunt by using sound, which means that if you want to stay alive in this world, you can't make any, and I mean ANY of it. For example, the family the story focuses on has paint marks on the floor where it doesn't creek. So yeah, sensitive.
Getting back to this family though, we have the Abbots, a family trying to survive through the whole mess, headed by Krasinski and real-life wife Emily Blunt playing Lee and Evelyn, respectively. They have three kids, but the one most focused on is their deaf daughter, Regan, portrayed by Millicent Simmonds, who is also deaf in real life. A great move altogether, not only putting a deaf girl in this horrific situation, but the casting choice adds some heavy authenticity to the role. That said, she is a bit of a brat. With that type of character though, I really try to empathize, and when you think about it, she has good reason to be frustrated. She's deaf, he hearing aid is broken, and somehow she has to live without making any sound. That's actually on top of a whole other issue, but no way am I spoiling that 'cause it's kinda the heart and soul of the movie.
This is one of those great turnaround horror movies where FINALLY we see something that isn't one of four things; ghosts, demons, found footage or home invasion. We have something nice and original here with an idea that, quite frankly surprises me hasn't been done before. I mean, the ultimate way to make your movie suspenseful, in my opinion, would be to make it a very quiet movie with those jump scares just lingering around the corner, but not necessarily happening, or happening when you don't expect it. For the most part, this movie nails that idea, so we have a bit of a right-up-my-alley horror.
On top of that, the suspense works incredibly well when we start to get to know and care about these characters. It kinda reminds me of a good episode of 'Walking Dead' where we focus more on the developing characters, but that threat is always there. What adds to this, though, is the need to be silent at all times, which puts a whole new level on things. I mean, silence is required in 'Walking Dead' as well, but they can at least have conversations in that show without having to use sign language. Here, well, the movie has it's title for a good reason.
To me, this follows in the footsteps of last year's 'Get Out'. Both were created from the mind of a comedic actor who understand that there's some unexplored territory in horror. It was also released close to this time and ended up being a solid, original horror movie that dares to stray away from the typical. I have to admit, I'm hoping we see a trend get kicked up here where the unexpected start making horror movies. It's worked out well so far.