“A Quiet Place” leaves audience speechless

William Sikich

The 2010’s have been a busy decade for the horror and post-apocalyptic genres, and the release of John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” last Friday carries on both of these trends in spectacular fashion. Having seen so many of these films over the years, myself, I frequently feel underwhelmed by movies of this nature. Often, the mere premise of a post-apocalyptic thriller is so overdone, I feel as though I’ve seen the entire movie before it even starts. “A Quiet Place”, however, in no way suffers from the staleness that plagues its genre, as it bears one of the most unique and interesting premises in any movie I’ve seen.
“A Quiet Place” tells the story of the Abbotts, an American family forced to live in silence and fear by the auditorily gifted monsters that have caused what appears to have been a global apocalypse. The incredible sense of hearing possessed by these creatures has forced the people of Earth to live silent lives for fear of being discovered and devoured by the horrifying monstrosities. Quietly, Evelyn and Lee Abbott must struggle to take care of each other and their children as they adjust to the new law of the land: silence.
While following the Abbott family throughout the film is an emotional and thoroughly entertaining experience on its own, the real fun of this movie comes from the way it forces you to think about its premise. So much of what we do in our everyday lives is loud; whether it’s talking, laughing, playing, working, or even sneezing, every human activity requires some level of noise. Thus, in a world where noise gets you killed, every aspect of a family’s normal existence becomes an intense battle for survival. Throughout the film, I felt all but forced to analyze everything I saw attempted on screen. How can she safely take those stairs? How can he catch those fish without making too much noise? With every decision made by its characters, viewers of “A Quiet Place” are invited to question and worry in suspense, wondering whether anyone could live in perfect silence.
Beyond simply causing the viewer to think, “A Quiet Place” uses its premise as a device for creating suspenseful “horror movie moments” in a way I haven’t often witnessed in a film. The instant anything with even the potential to make a sound appears on screen, the audience is held in suspense as the characters must now race to silence the new threat. This movie likes to play the game of implications, using the apparent ramifications of its premise to create tension in truly clever places. This makes it one of the most inherently interesting and attention-holding films I’ve seen in a very long time, even in spite of its general lack of dialogue. Overall, “A Quiet Place” left me intrigued, emotionally moved, and wanting more. While not a movie to be taken on casually, anyone looking for a thrilling and unique experience should definitely try to catch it before it leaves theaters.