Main cast: Emily Blunt (Evelyn Abbott), John Krasinski (Lee Abbott), Millicent Simmonds (Regan Abbott), Noah Jupe (Marcus Abbott), and Cade Woodward (Beau Abbott)
Director: John Krasinski
A Quiet Place is John Krasinski’s labor of love. Bet you wouldn’t have guessed that, deep down inside, he just wants to be Jason Blum! Mr Krasinski doesn’t just star in this alongside his wife Emily Blunt; he also co-wrote the script and directed the whole thing. He goes some way to brag about how he picked a deaf lady to play the deaf daughter Regan Abbott, apparently because only a deaf actress that bring on the dimensions he wants for that character. Well, I’m so happy for how woke and open-minded he is, but Regan Abbott is singularly or partially responsible for every single calamity in this episode, so what he ends up doing is getting me to want desperately to slap the living hell out of that imbecile, selfish, self-absorbed young lady. I doubt Millicent Simmonds will appreciate this reaction of mine.
What happens in that by 2020 or so, alien monsters have come to this earth, and apparently these human-sized things are so powerful that no weapons can destroy them. Instead, they wipe out a few millions people until it is learned that these blind monsters detect their prey by sound – they have very sensitive hearing organs that can catch even the smallest scratch from miles away. Well, except for the sound of breathing, apparently – the monsters will dash to the scene when they hear someone drop a tiny pin, but they are completely deaf to the heavy pants of someone cowering just a few inches away from them. Let’s just say that you will need to be able to overlook this in order to enjoy this movie.
The movie revolves around the Abbott family, who are separated from the rest of the world, it seems. They live in a farmhouse in the most beautiful corner of the world, or so it seems, but this vision of paradise is actually hell on earth. Three of those monster aliens stalk the area.
When the movie opens, the family is quietly scavenging the now deserted town for medications for the ill Marcus. The then-four year old Beau wants a rocket toy that they find in the pharmacy, and his father Lee forbids it, pointing out that the sounds emitted by the rocket will attract the monsters to them. Our smart, deaf daughter character Regan of course sneaks to Beau the rocket, and the boy also pockets the batteries. And then, the parents of the year walk first in a line, letting the four year old boy trail behind them as they make their way home. So Beau puts the batteries into the rocket, it makes loud sounds as he happily plays with it, and oops, dead.
So, years later, Regan is still beating herself up over causing her brother’s death, and as such, she throws tantrums around the place, sulks, and eventually sneaks out to abandon her pregnant mother alone in the house so that she can do her emo twat thing. Yes, Evelyn is just days away from her due date. Heaven knows why one would want to bring a baby into the world at such a time – babies cry a lot, and these adults should at least think of their other children’s safety. God! Okay, maybe the pregnancy is an accident, but still, perhaps terminating the pregnancy may be the kindest thing they can all do for their other children, given the circumstances. At any rate, Lee apparently needs to take Marcus to… some waterfall to do some father-son bonding thing? Regan sulks off, and hence the heavily pregnant Evelyn is all alone as she goes into labor. The sounds attract the monsters so whoopee.
A Quiet Place is very solid in its first half or so, as the characters all communicate in sign language and hence, the sense of terror is amplified as a result. There are no cheap jump scares at that part of the movie, just plenty of mounting tension and atmosphere as the characters desperately try to maintain a semblance of normal life, only they have to be very, very quiet. This part of the movie is an example of how to make a great horror movie without resorting to cheap gimmicks and tactics.
But it falls apart spectacularly once the characters all separate and get involved into all kinds of calamity, one after another. If Regan had stayed with Evelyn, much of the problems would have been avoided, but no, she has to sulk off to do her temper tantrum thing and worse, even when she and Marcus are separated from their parents, she still continues to act like a spoiled brat. Sure, you can argue that she is guilt-ridden by her role in Beau’s death, blah blah blah, but this stink-faced dumb brat is responsible for every death in this movie. She doesn’t even seem to get it by the end of the movie, when, in a fairer world, she would realize just what a worthless human being she is and kill herself to spare the rest of the family from her literally calamitous stupidity. And because she isn’t torn apart by monsters by the end of the movie – if you think Hollywood would kill a deaf girl in a movie, you’re so cute – this movie is ugh. It is already ugh when the tragedies and problems start piling in a contrived one-after-another manner, but this bitch not getting what is coming to her makes it even more ugh.
Also, there are many things here that don’t hold up. What kind of genius does Lee have to be, anyway, to be able to not only come up with devices that can stop the monsters (something that all the brainy people in the world apparently can’t do) but also do survivalist guru things and what not? If they know that the waterfall nearby can cover up any sound they make, why don’t these people build a home around the waterfall – or at least, a place to raise the baby there? Instead, they insist on sticking to their farmhouse for who knows what reason. Also, how come the family never has a contingency plan on what to do or where to meet when they are separated? Being silent will keep the monsters away – so why don’t they just stay put quietly in their hiding place instead of sneaking out at night and blundering blindly around? Oh, right, Regan is involved. Dumb bitch. Why won’t she just die?
On the bright side, Emily Blunt is as usual gorgeous and a joy to watch, while John Krasinski is doing his best impression of that dude from The Last of Us. Seriously, what’s with the proliferation of bearded male protagonists in post-apocalyptic or dystopian horror movies? Not that I am complaining – Joel still gets my vote as one of the most handsome leading characters in a video game, and if more guys want to look like him, I’m all for it.
The early parts of this movie is very good, hence the three oogies, but A Quiet Place sadly can’t sustain its momentum. It’s not surprising that Michael Bay is a co-producer here, as the second half resembles the typical brain damage fare he usually puts out, complete with painfully stupid children that are the cause of all the heinous problems and tragedies in this movie. For what it’s worth, this one ends up being a chillingly effective propaganda of the joys of childlessness.