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“A Quiet Place” is the kind of movie that I knew John Krasinski could make. The Hollars and Brief Interviews with Hideous Men showed signs of promise, but were buried in films that ran on forever. Brevity and its related limitations were the key to unlocking the Krasinski we see here. The past 18 months has seen mainstream talent rediscovering the power of horror cinema. While this film trades heavily in Sci-Fi creature attacks and world invasion, the horror roots are exposed. So, buckle up. Jim Halpert just got Signs chocolate in your Alien peanut butter.

When making a terrifying film about a family being preyed upon, you either go big or go home. 20th Century sentimentality informs that our fiction shapes and protects the world of these individuals. After all, we come from a shared American cinematic experience that ties tragedy to Disney killing off Old Yeller over 60 years ago. Child death and the loss of family sanctity tend to be issues that the average moviegoer avoids. Couple that with oppressive silence and A Quiet Place dares you to follow where it’ll go next.

What kills me about his film is that it’ll play better with a large audience, yet with that audience comes excessive noise. So much of this film lives and dies in those quiet moments. Whether it be the nail or the basement discovery, the viewer needs those moments. I’d like to think more of modern cinema audiences, but the constant shitlord hordes of Middle America keeps kicking me in the gut. So, what is a discerning movie lover to do?

Go see this movie ASAP, but realize that it’s going to be one that you revisit. The film plays short and never quite explains away its alien enemy. But, the menace is in the details. Upon seeing the film for a second time, I was able to piece together an origin for the threat that eluded me in the first viewing. Hell, how the mother and her kids handled the threat made way more sense in a second viewing.

Normally, I’d dismiss a film that buries so much of itself. But, this is a movie that almost needs to invite repeat viewing. Director Krasinski has crafted a film that plays to the best of its genre nature, while challenging an audience. What’s more impressive is how much is asked of Emily Blunt in the film. Many will question her actions, but this is a film about a woman choosing life in the face of almost certain death. Hell, I’d say it’s the most inspirational female alien fighter since Ellen Ripley.


  • 1 hr and 30 mins
  • PG-13
  • Paramount


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