Its surprising how effectively the silence increases the scares, too. Were used to directors who cant dial up the tension simply pumping up the volume, adding shrieks and screechy music. They trade horror for headaches, monsters for migraines.
Mom and Dad and the kids mostly talk in sign language. (One of their children is played by the hearing-impaired young actress Millicent Simmonds.) Music and sound effects are kept to a minimum. Wordless seconds turn into almost unbearable minutes.
A Quiet Place review: John Krasinskis hushed heart-pounder
Whats most shocking about those scenes is the movies own unsentimental realism. This may be a sci-fi fantasy about giant man-eating bugs, but its grounded in human facts and folly. Little here is safe. Nothing is predictable.
Theyre the alien invaders of A Quiet Place, giant insect predators that hunt by sound. Ferocious and voracious, theyve already eaten most of our planet, city by city. And now theyre in your little town. Better hold your breath.
A family, including mom and daughter (Emily Blunt and Millicent Simmonds) relies on sign language to communicate and to avoid invaders. (Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount Pictur/Photo Credit: Jonny Cournoyer)
Married costars Emily Blunt, left, and John Krasinski play spouses fighting an alien invasion in A Quiet Place. (Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount Pictur/Photo Credit: Jonny Cournoyer)
Krasinski brings his own quiet, small-town decency to the hero. Blunt gives her farm wife plenty of old-fashioned, pioneer-woman pluck. The deserted small-town locations are genuinely spooky, too, and there are a couple of shocking action sequences.
Silence is golden and terrifying.
A Quiet Place, though, cleverly reminds us of just how unearthly nothing can be. You sit and watch, on the edge of your seat, straining to hear. Wait! Wait, whats that?
Thats the idea behind this great scary movie from real-life couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt. They co-star as a couple of New York farmers, with three cute kids, a nice spread upstate and a horde of hungry, grasshopper-like things trying to get into their house.
The busy Krasinski also directed, and helped produce and script. He has created a smart, surprising little shocker. Because sound has become the most dangerous thing on earth, the family stays as silent as it can. So does the film, giving it a fresh, unearthly feel.
Actually, in space, someone can hear you scream.
The actors, though, dont need dialogue to build characters.
In one, the pregnant , alone on the farm, suddenly goes into labor knowing that even a small gasp of pain may bring on the predators. In another, a child falls into a silo, corn kernels sucking him down like quicksand giving new meaning to the phrase popcorn movie.