“A Quiet Place” Emphasizes Family Dynamic

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New horror flick keeps viewers on the edge of their seats in a post-apocalyptic thriller featuring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt.

Gloria Han, Maroon-News Staff

For fans of “The Office” – as I’m sure most college students are – A Quiet Place is a pleasant return to the screen for our loveable, goofy Jim Halpert (John Krasinski). During and after the show’s run, Krasinski was relatively luckless in launching a successful film career; here, he seems to be finally making his mark. He proves himself to be a triple threat too: credited for acting in the screenplay, in addition to directing and writing. A Quiet Place is topping the box office right now, and has already earned over $100 million in just over a week following its debut. Who would’ve ever guessed that Krasinski would be so strong in the horror genre?

A Quiet Place is set sometime in the 2020s, when most of the human population has been wiped out by a species of mysterious, blind creatures with incredible hearing acuity –  which they use to hunt their Earthly prey. Our featured family is perhaps better advantaged, residing in the sparse countryside, and already familiar with American Sign Language (ASL), due to their deaf daughter. The Abbotts include husband Lee (Krasinski), wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and their kids Marcus (Noah Jupe) and Regan (Milicent Simmons). Previously they were a family of five, but their son Beau was tragically killed, as viewers are shown in the beginning. However, they are soon to become a family of five again, with Evelyn’s approaching due date, which of course brings its own set of problems.

On the one hand, A Quiet Place is a well-crafted thriller that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. It is most definitely scary, but mildly so, in the sense that it won’t keep you up at night, hiding under your covers in fear. Then again, I’ve grown numb to the after-effects of horror, so I may not be the best judge. A better description perhaps would be that it’s a monster flick and a very smart one at that. Sound is of course essential to the core of the film, and every small sound makes you wince in hope that the creatures didn’t hear it. The anticipation and terror is intelligently drawn out, but it doesn’t lack any effective jump scares either. 

On the other hand, the film is also a meditation on family. It reflects how in times of mere survival, we serve to protect our family, thinking beyond only ourselves – at the same time, family is what keeps us individually alive and going, despite despair and fear. Similarly, the movie contemplates grief, and how each family member responds to it, as well as the guilt and “could-haves” that grief strings along. Beau only physically appears in the first scenes, but his presence is felt throughout. Lastly, the father-daughter relationship between Lee and Regan is worth paying attention to and the most touching dynamic of the film. 

Every little detail is extremely meticulous, and contributes to the fantastic final product that is A Quiet Place. The cochlear implant, bare feet, yarn monopoly pieces – everything is well-thought out, and brings this monster-infested world to life. My friends and I came a minute late to the showing, so I strongly recommend that you secure your seat as early as possible! Not necessarily because the theater will fill up quick (which it may), but because every sound in the theater becomes so amplified. Whether it be the crunch of popcorn or the squeak of the seat, everything feels like it disrupts the dramatic silence on the screen, which I think is part of what makes the movie so great and why you must see it in theaters. Plus, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt are couple goals both on and off-screen. 

Contact Gloria Han at [email protected]gate.edu.