A QUIET PLACE review
Because anything Disney or Disney related (except the stock price) repulses me, it’s sure bet that I will never ever ever see the cash grab that is the MARY POPPINS (starring Emily Blunt) sequel infecting theaters this Christmas (meaning you can probably own the overpriced Blu-Ray for only $45 next April) and that THE QUIET PLACE is, by far, the best Emily Blunt movie to come out this year. It’s also one of the best movies of the year and shows you don’t have to use cheap Blumhouse scares to goose people out of their seats.
You’ve seen the trailer, so the “plot” itself is basic. You could almost distill it into one sentence, but I will use more than one sentence because you deserve it.
It’s the very near future (those of you who pay attention will get the year) and it’s the beginning of every post-apocalyptic movie you’ve ever seen. We open on a what looks like a ransacked grocery store where an impossibly photogenic family scrounges around for basic goods. Normally when you see three children and two parents at a store, you hope the parents shut those kids up. Not to worry as these people are being unusually quiet.
A few moments later you get why they need to be so quiet as a family of five has now been whittled down to a family of four, minus one 4-year old boy.
Don’t worry, the kid deserved it. When you see it, you’ll agree.
We fast-forward to about a year. The kid is still dead. We learn that a good part of the population is dead, killed by, um, creatures, that hunt using their hyper-acute sense of sound.
The Abbott Family is still bummed that their kid was killed. Granted, it looked like he was killed pretty quickly, so there may be some comfort in that. No? Probably not.
Dad Lee (John Krasinski, who also directed the movie and is married to Emily Blunt) is still rocking the depression beard. You know he’s been busy because he has both a cork and a white board filled with random writing on how to kill these monsters.
Deaf Daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) is sad because it’s partially her fault her little brother got torn apart. It’s also convenient that she’s deaf plot-wise because now the Abbotts have a convenient way of communicating in complete silence.
Not Dead Son Marcus (Noah Jupe) is growing up in a harsh world, and he’s soon going to have to learn to survive in case other members of his family get ripped apart. You get the feeling he’s the next one to die.
Mom Evelyn (Emily Blunt, married to John Krasinski and recently killed someone with a blunt object) is still feeling guilty over her son’s death. She’s going to get over it because, in the tradition of Shark-jumping sitcoms, she’s pregnant.
What could possibly go wrong?
*whispers* what could possibly go wrong?
WHAT WORKS with All Quiet on the Western Place—
1) How do you know a movie is working? When EVERYONE in the theater is quiet. I took a minimum of notes because I was wary of making too much noise. Makes you realize how much we’re used to ambient noise in a movie theater.
2) Excellent near-silent acting by Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. You’re actually startled the few times actors have dialogue in this movie. You knew Blunt had excellent range, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen John Krasinski and didn’t think “Jim Halpert”.
3) The Creatures are genuinely terrifying, primarily because you never really get a good look at them…until you do.
4) Bad time to be in a bathtub. Director Krasinski mines the scene for nerve-shredding tension. So much so that you’re never aware of how ridiculous/implausible the circumstances are. Wouldn’t the ____ be ______?
What Doesn’t work—
1) In a movie that rarely missteps, it’s pretty glaring the one time it does involving a sequence with a nail. In a film where silence is the main motif, you don’t really have to shout “LOOK AT THIS NAIL AS IT WILL BE IMPORTANT LATER”
OVERALL. The Best 85 minutes you’ll spend in a theater this month and an excellent placeholder until AVENGERS: PLEASE KILL SOMEONE FINALLY. If you see it, please see it in the theater for maximum overall effect and you’ll make some noise for the quietest horror movie of the year.