I must not have been the only one who felt horrors and thrillers were getting a bit stale, there seems to be a new trend in what I like to call "sensory deprivation" movies, which have introduced some neat ideas to the horror genre. We had Don't Breathe, which involved people trying to escape from a blind murderous man, and Hush, in which a deaf woman is terrorised by a man who can creep up on her without her hearing, obviously. Now we have A Quiet Place, which takes this idea into a post-apocalyptic setting. The story revolves around a family, headed by real life spouses Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, who attempt to survive in a world ravaged by horrifying creature who are blind but extremely sensitive to sound. Make a noise and you're pretty much dead, so as you can imagine, they need to live in a quiet place. Hey, that's the name of the movie!
This movie is tense, there's no doubt about it. For the small glimpses of the creatures that you're treated to towards the beginning of the movie, it's clear why silence is of the utmost importance, and that looming threat is present throughout the entire film, obviously building up and spilling over the top on the way. The sound design is incredible, every single footstep and moved object is perfectly audible, and put me on edge as to what would be a loud enough noise to draw attention. When the action kicks in, it's edge of your seat stuff, moments where a noise is made and the characters are trying their very best to hide and stay silent. It's not so much a scary horror as a perpetually tense thriller.
At the heart of the story is the one family who are trying their best to survive. The daughter is deaf, you see, so they can communicate very effectively through signs, and despite there being very little dialogue throughout the movie, emotions are portrayed wonderfully, with each character managing to convey their personalities in the way they sign. There are a handful of characters here, but they're all pretty wonderfully cast, and the relationships between them are very real and often emotional. There's an especially nice touch where the sound switches to what the deaf daughter hears, or rather does not hear, which really fits into the theme of the movie as a whole and serves to rack up the suspense.
So a great concept, fleshed out with some great characters played by wonderful actors. A Quiet Place is well worth seeing. It's not the perfect movie, it takes perhaps a little too long for things to build up. It's good for setting up the characters, but I feel some of it was unnecessary in the long run, there could have been a bit less exposition and I still would have felt the same connection to the family. But still, a minor complain in what is otherwise a breath of fresh air to the genre. Check it out.
My rating: 4/5