Strange monsters roam the woods, attacking anyone or anything that makes any noise. A small family of survivors must remain silent at all costs. This is complicated by Evelyn’s (Emily Blunt) pregnancy, daughter Regan’s (Millicent Simmonds) hearing impairment and a growing rift in the family fuelled by guilt.
The unnamed creatures of the film have the feel of classic movie monsters. Like the Xenomorths or Graboids they are terrifying with their incredible strength, powerful claws and unmatchable speed, but also have a very specific weakness, they’re blindness. This forces the characters into difficult situations where they must survive through ingenuity.
Director and star John Krasinski succeeds in establishing an intimidating threat and then building tension around the creature encounters. The entire second half of the film plays out as a prolonged chase through the family’s house, invoking the kitchen scene from Jurassic Park. Krasinski preserves the ominous silence throughout most of the first half of the film with Marco Beltrami’s electrifying score becoming more unnerving as the threat grows.
Emily Blunt gives an intense performance as the pursued pregnant mother who must find a way to protect her unborn child at any cost. Her palpable desperation and fear is paramount to the film’s effectiveness as a thriller. Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe are superb as the fearful children of the family who must find their courage to live in this world.
A Quiet Place was at one stage considered to become a part of the Cloverfield franchise and it would have sat comfortably alongside similar minimalist thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane, though it perhaps lacks the personal insight of that film. A Quiet Place works wonderfully as a standalone horror film, one of the most inventive and compelling of recent memory.
4 / 5